England: Henry Arundell a Six Nations doubt after foot surgery

Colin Newboult

London Irish's Henry Arundell (right) scores his sides seventh try during the Gallagher Premiership match at Gtech Community Stadium, Brentford. Picture date: Saturday September 10, 2022.

England starlet Henry Arundell will be out for longer than initially anticipated after undergoing surgery on a foot injury.

The speedster sustained the issue just before the Autumn Nations Series during London Irish’s narrow 22-21 defeat to Gloucester in October.

It was hoped that he would be involved during the latter stages of the November internationals, but Exiles director of rugby Declan Kidney revealed that he needed an operation to repair the issue.

Good healing powers

“He has had surgery on Monday and will be out for a number of weeks,” Kidney told reporters.

“The foot injury he got prior to the November Tests didn’t respond as we hoped and it was necessary to have surgery and he will be in a boot for six weeks and then we will have to see how he recovers.

“He has shown good healing powers in the past but it will be the New Year before he starts playing again.”

Arundell starred for Irish towards the end of last season, making a series of impressive displays for the club.

It resulted in an England call-up for their tour to Australia, where he scored a stunning individual try with his first touch.

The 20-year-old was duly expected to play a more prominent role for the Red Rose in the Autumn Nations Series, but he was forced to sit that out and he could now miss the start of the Six Nations.

“He knows the routine and he knows what it takes. This is where it’s important for players to have something outside of rugby to occupy their minds as well too, and that helps the healing process,” Kidney said.

“Henry will pay every due diligence to his recovery, but then if we can maybe get him doing some further study or different activities to take his mind off, that always helps the healing process too.

“Because you find the body relaxes, takes your mind off things, and then the body heals itself up.”

Ollie Hassell-Collins’ impressive form

Arundell is not the only young English flyer to have caught the eye over the past few months with Ollie Hassell-Collins continually shining for the Exiles.

The wing has been involved in wider training squads in the past but has yet to make his debut for Eddie Jones’ side.

Hassell-Collins once again reminded Jones of his talent with a superb individual display in Irish’s narrow defeat to Leicester Tigers on Sunday.

“Ollie brings physicality to the teams he plays in and makes line breaks. I am not putting pressure saying he should be a shoo-in (for England) but he is putting his hand up. His attitude to improve is a strength,” Kidney added.

READ MORE: Manu Tuilagi: ‘Deception’ the key to unlocking England centre’s qualities