Eddie Jones was asked to style new England rugby prodigy Henry Arundell in Australia this summer by a former World Cup winner who knows a thing or two about the need for speed.
Arundell – who is just 19 – ran for 114 yards for a try down the length of the field in the London Irish’s Challenge Cup quarter-final loss to Toulon on Sunday.
It was another reminder of the teenager’s amazing ability. 2003 England hero Jason Robinson wasn’t the only one gawking at Arundell’s moment of glory.
England World Cup hero Jason Robinson (above) urged Eddie Jones to style Henry Arundell
Full-back Arundell (right) scored a try against his 19-year-old as the London Irish lost to Toulon
Robinson scored England’s try when they lifted the William Webb Ellis Cup 19 years ago and believes the country’s current head coach, Jones, has a special talent at his fingertips.
Arundell qualifies for England, Scotland, Wales and Cyprus. Robinson insists he should not be lost to any other nation.
“If he (Arundell) is going to produce moments like that, you have to give him a chance to see what he’s capable of at the next level,” Robinson, now 47, said. sports mail.
“I know there’s a bit of a fight right now over who he’s committing to. You wouldn’t want someone like that slipping through the net.
Arundell could be fast-tracked into England setup after sensational career start
“Hopefully he gets an opportunity and if England don’t tie him up there will be a big queue of people.
“It’s not very often that I watch a game and get really excited, but I have to admit it’s the most excited I’ve been in a long time.
“To see a tryout like this is very special and I’m sure we’ll be seeing reruns for a long time to come.”
Virtually unheard of outside of the Irish at the start of the season, Arundell’s superb performances with the London club and the England Under-20 side had already caught Jones’ attention even before his moment of glory at the Stade Félix Mayol.
Arundell could be capped by Scotland, Wales or Cyprus unless England’s Eddie Jones acts quickly
Sportsmail understands Jones has made personal contact with Arundell – who, like Robinson, can play both full-back and wing – and is convinced he wants to wear the red rose at senior level. That could happen as early as July’s three-Test series with Australia.
“If there’s one thing every team needs, it’s people who can run the length of the pitch and create something out of nothing,” said Robinson, famous for his electric toe kick.
“He (Arundell) certainly did it over the weekend. The main thing for him – without bursting a single bubble – is to do it consistently.
“There is a difference between club rugby and European rugby and then international rugby, but the trial was just exceptional.
The light-footed Arundell left a trail of Toulon defenders in his wake en route to landing
“It’s made my day and I’m not an Irish fan. He’s set the bar very high now and he has a lot to do, but he deserves all the praise he gets.
Arundell, who is from the South West and played club rugby in Bradford-on-Avon, has just finished his education at the prestigious Harrow School.
England lock Maro Itoje is also an old boy from Harrow and you wouldn’t bet against the pair who will soon be international teammates.
Arundell came through the age rating systems with Ireland and England and quickly gained a reputation for his superb individual tries.
His Toulon effort was not his first 100m score of the season. He produced a similar try against Scotland in the Six Nations Under-20s and was no stranger to making the leap for the Irish in both the Gallagher Premiership and the club’s run to the final of the Premiership Rugby Cup.
That said, you almost had to see his trial on the French Riviera to believe it. It’s no surprise that the video quickly went viral on social media.
With his team trailing 19-13 in the 74th minute, Arundell took possession of the ball just a yard from his own line and began to show an outrageous turn of foot to leave tackle attempts in his wake.
Prospect Arundell was little known outside Ireland before his breakthrough campaign began
Arundell – who was handled carefully by the Irishman and made just two Premiership starts – then lifted the last two French defenders to finish in the corner.
Robinson, who scored 28 tries for England and two for the Lions during a stellar career, believes Arundell’s try showed he had the rugby smarts to keep up with his undoubted pace.
“It was a world-class finish – it’s as simple as that,” he said. “There were a lot of different parts to the trial that made it even better.
“First of all, he was stepping back when he took the ball because the Irish were chasing to cover a kick.”
“As someone who loved taking on players, I know the best ball to attack is the ball on the front foot. There was the initial break, then the arc, and he maintained his pace throughout.
Robinson was suitably impressed with Arundell’s magnificent try and the newcomer’s maturity
“There were players covering from all angles – his spatial awareness was fantastic.
“You thought he was going to get caught a few times and then he put in some key footwork at the right time which helped him go all the way.
“The check he did from around 25 yards was world class. He had probably walked about 100 meters by then, so having the nerve to do it was very impressive.
“The main thing when you attack is to be decisive, to make decisions quickly and then follow through with that decision. You can see every moment he makes a decision and then goes for it.
“For me, it showed a maturity in his attack. It was one of the best tries I’ve seen in a long, long time. Most players would have gotten caught – there’s no doubt about that.