Henry Arundell: London Irish boss Les Kiss says ‘heavy expectation’ is good for England starlet

Dylan Coetzee

London Irish head coach Les Kiss says that big expectations are good for a player like Henry Arundell after the speedster made a promising start to his Test career in Australia.

Arundell scored a magnificent try on debut as he beat two defenders in the tackle before running around another to score beautifully in the corner.

The young star featured as a substitute in all three Tests against the Wallabies and looks to be a prospect for the future at the highest level.

Dealing with expectations

Kiss believes Arundell has the mentality to cope with the expectations and that it will help the outside back navigate the highs and lows of his career.

“Henry is a well-balanced lad, and a real positive and upside to his success it that he respects the opportunity,” Kiss said.

“These guys don’t take it for granted. They have got a lot of humility.

“They know it is on the back of hard work, so they manage it themselves, their peers will manage it and then it is up to us as coaches to make sure that we help them understand what these new challenges will be.

“I think you have got to put heavy expectation on yourself. That is how you challenge yourself, but it is also being able to understand that from A to B is not a straight line, if that makes sense.

“You have just got to be able to work with the ups and downs in the most productive way.

“We tend to bounce right from great things happening to bouncing low, and it is how you build yourself back to an even keel as quickly as possible, and that is the important thing.

“If it doesn’t happen on day one, it doesn’t mean it is not going to happen.

“It’s about building that type of resilience and commitment for the long term, knowing that if you are hungry enough and you are lucky enough – you have got to be lucky, too – these things will happen.

“So I encourage the high expectations. It is just about having the right approach to reality.”

Kicking on

London Irish came off a good season where they secured Champions Cup qualification for the first time in 11 years. And Kiss is eager to push on with his young stars, Arundell and Will Joseph, who also broke into the England squad.

“To get to Europe was one step. Now, it is about making sure we can do the right things to challenge the top end of the table,” Kiss added.

“So, ultimately, it is about getting the balance right in the playing group we have, and the style we want to play is important.

“Henry and Will making that (England) team and being part of a winning series, that can only serve them at a deeper level, the experiences they have had.

“We have got a lot of boys on international duty around the world – that was always going to serve us well – but for those two young guys to get that experience is very beneficial.”

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