The London Irish youngster has wowed fans with his long-range tries
England wing Henry Arundell
Date of birth 8 November 2002 Born Cyprus Position Full-back Club London Irish Country England
When did you first play rugby?
Aged seven, for Trowbridge RFC.
What positions have you played?
I’ve moved around a lot. I played No 8 a couple of times – pick-and-goes! I’ve played across the back-line, except nine, and that’s helped because you appreciate what the other boys can do for you.
Your childhood hero?
The common one is Jonny Wilkinson. I saw him warm up for Toulon but I don’t think he actually played! In terms of full-backs, the likes of Jason Robinson and Christian Cullen. Their running games changed the game.
What are your strengths?
Speed and just getting on the ball. It’s not just being a running threat but a kicking threat too.
What was it like to be named Discovery of the Season at the Premiership Awards?
I was quite surprised – there were very good players also nominated. Irish have always been good at producing top-quality young players and you can see the boys want to be a part of what we’re building. It’s great to play for a club I’ve been part of for years.
How have you found the England set-up?
Very good, it’s given me an insight into that level. Going into camp and seeing Marcus Smith, Owen Farrell, it’s crazy. Marcus has been very good for me, making me comfortable, Anthony Watson too.
They took me under their wing a bit. It’s exciting. I’ll take it as it comes, get as much experience as I can and learn from people there.
What are your goals for next season?
To play as much as possible. I joined this club to develop my rugby and that’s happening. You can see what we do when we play well, so I think it’s actually going on to win some stuff now.
Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
My parents, my whole family really. They’re all rugby fans and introduced me to the game; they allow me to keep having fun so it’s not all pressure.
RW Verdict: One of the breakout stars of 2021-22, with his long-range tries for London Irish and England U20 going viral. Part of the Exiles set-up since he was 14, he has been quick to impress Eddie Jones with both his skills and mentality, and he made his Test debut on the 2022 Australia tour.
This article originally appeared in Rugby World magazine’s August 2022 edition.
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