England rugby coach Eddie Jones said rising star Henry Arundell reminds him of Australia great Matt Giteau as he called the teenager into the senior squad for the first time.
The 19-year-old London Irish full-back is one of 10 uncapped players included in a 36-man training group announced on Tuesday ahead of England’s three-Test tour of Australia in July.
Arundell has scored seven tries in 12 senior appearances for London Irish, including a sensational slaloming effort in their Challenge Cup quarter-final defeat by Toulon.
Jones, who gave Wallabies playmaker Giteau his Test debut in 2002 when coach of his native Australia, said he had been impressed by Arundell’s mentality as well as his skill.
“He’s got exceptional pace,” he said. “He probably reminds me a lot of Matt Giteau in terms of his desire to attack—not the way he plays, but his desire to attack.
“I was particularly impressed when I went to see him play against Wasps. The ball was kicked to him and he knocked it on cold, so it wasn’t a great start.
“There’s all this hoo-ha about him being a fantastic player and he knocks the ball on cold. Next ball he gets a long pass, sees space, chips and scores and that’s the sort of mindset you want to see from young players who want to take on the game.
“So that’s impressive, with his pace obviously.”
Jones has recalled experienced backs Manu Tuilagi and Owen Farrell, who missed the whole of the Six Nations with an ankle injury.
“It’s been a tough period for him,” said the England coach.
“It started with his club (Saracens) being relegated and he had a tough time playing then, a number of injuries, but he’s back playing and been consistently good for his club.”
Powerhouse centre Tuilagi, 31, has been hampered by injuries throughout his career and won the last of his 46 caps against South Africa in November.
England play the Barbarians in a non-cap international at Twickenham on June 19 before travelling to Australia for three Tests against the Wallabies, starting in Perth on July 2.
Several senior players including Ben Youngs, Jamie George and Henry Slade have been omitted as the Premiership season nears its end but Jones said those not selected could still travel to Australia.
“We’re excited about the first camp. There are 16 months to go until the World Cup (in France) and our aim is the World Cup,” said Jones, who took England to the 2019 final in Japan, where they lost 32-12 to South Africa.
England have won all eight of their Tests against the Wallabies since Jones took charge after the 2015 World Cup, including a 3-0 series whitewash six years ago.
“The game’s becoming more powerful, shorter blocks of intense period of play so it’s much different to when we went there in 2016,” said Jones. “We’ve got to make sure we prepare well for that sort of rugby.”
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