MIKE BROWN: Henry Arundell has the same magic as All Blacks star Christian Cullen

MIKE BROWN: Henry Arundell has the same magic as All Blacks star Christian Cullen … he has a long way to go, but don’t exclude him from the England World Cup plans

  • Brown claims defender Arundell has all the tools to become an international superstar
  • His pace, strength and footwork are similar to former All Blacks star Christian Cullen
  • The Irishman from London may soon be called by Eddie Jones as “finisher”
  • Brown would not be shocked if Arundell appeared in England at the World Cup

I couldn’t believe what I saw when Henry Arundell tore open the Toulon defense last week. It was like watching Christian Cullen one of the best players in an All Blacks jersey.

There are so many natural abilities there. What is so impressive is the way Arundell turned at top speed, threw in some footwork, brought the speed down to almost a stop, and then started off again.

Its deceleration and quick acceleration to top speed is really impressive.

Henry Arundell raised many eyebrows during the U20 Six Nations

A side-defender scored an escape attempt against the Wasps for London Irish earlier this month

Whether playing for England U20 or London Irish, Henry Arundell is an exciting watch

You see many incredibly fast athletes struggling to beat defenders in top gear. This pace of body movement is what sets Cullen apart from the rest. Few of the players in the world play this way. He’s fast, but also strong, 96kg, with big legs.

Of course, there is still a long way to go. Most of his appearances have come from the bench but there is plenty of time to solidify on England’s plans for the World Cup.

At the World Cup, you always see one jumper break into the starting team and make a real impact. Nehe Milner-Skudder is a classic example of the All Blacks.

In the future, I could see Arunell and Freddie Steward playing together in the back three. They are both defenders but have very different points so I could see them working in tandem.

London-based Irish defender Henry Arundell could soon join Freddie Steward in the England rear three

London-based Irish defender Henry Arundell could soon join Freddie Steward in the England rear three

The Steward’s point of difference is his play in the air, while Arundell is deadly in the counterattack. This can be a really dangerous combination.

People wonder if there is still room in the international threatening game. Yes, there is less time and space in the test game, but there are still opportunities for moments of magic.

No one has really made their England wingers’ positions so everything is up for grabs for someone like Arunell. If you need to try at the end of a game when your bodies are tired, it can be fatal.

I’ve seen him start out as one of Jones’ finishers, and there’s no reason why he couldn’t make his way into the starting team in the next 12 months if he seizes whatever opportunity he has.

I spoke to Jordan Turner-Hall about Arundell. Jordan coached him at England level until the 1920s when he burst onto the scene.

The response was that he has a good head on his shoulders and is always proactive in doing his extras during training. This bodes well.

The teenager keeps an eye on the line and fits one of Eddie Jones's

The teenager keeps an eye on the line and goes well with one of Eddie Jones’ finishers

London’s Irish do the right thing by placing him on a bench to aid his growth. It would be easy to join the hype and throw it into deep water.

It will take him a while to get the basics – positioning on the pitch, confidence under the high balls – but if he does, he looks like someone who could become one of the best in the world.

You have to consistently polish the basics so you don’t just become the best drummer – and there’s nothing to suggest he can’t do that. He could be England’s most exciting runner since Jason Robinson.

People will be tuning in to the Premiership Cup on Tuesday night just to look at this guy.

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