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Henry Arundell debut try, Darcy Swain judiciary hearing


On the one hand Eddie Jones is trying to temper expectations around England’s shining new star Harry Arundell – on the other he’s not shying away from some big comparisons.

In the lead up to Australia’s first Test win in Perth, Jones compared a training ground try scored by Arundell as being Bryan Habana-like.

“Henry scored…how long is the field, 100 metres? He scored a 90-metre try at training on Wednesday. There were a few, I won’t use the expletives, ‘he’s fast!’ heard,” Jones said.

“We had a number of coaches from different sports watching and they heard this comment.

“He scored a try not many other players in the world would have scored. It was like a try Bryan Habana used to score – one of those.

“He could be a very good player but he’s got a long way to go. We feel like if he continues his development and we’re able to give him some game time on this tour, by the World Cup he could be a significant player.”

Teammate Jonny Hill described Arundell as a “rock star” after that training ground magic.

“I was stood in the other 22,” Hill said. “It was crazy. Very impressive. He’s a proper rock star, isn’t he? I’m sure he’s going to have a big future.”

That moment alone was enough for Jones to include Arundell, whose 90-metre try for London Irish against Toulon this season melted the internet, in his matchday 23 in Perth. He became the first so-called ‘apprentice’ tourist member to have a Test run on.

With his first touch, Arundell blasted through the Wallabies defence to score an astonishing debut try.

Henry Arundell of England runs to score a scores a try during game one of the international test match series between the Australian Wallabies and England at Optus Stadium on July 02, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

Henry Arundell scores a brilliant try on debut. (Photo by Will Russell – RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

Afterwards, Jones was asked if he could remember a debut try like it – and he reached for another massive star name in David Campese.

“Campo, he did something like that in his first Test,” Jones said. “I am loath to compare him to Campese but if he keeps working hard in Test rugby he is going to be some sort of a player.”

As much as we all love Campo, there is little comparison between his opportunistic debut try against the All Blacks (watch the video below) and Arundell’s show of force.

Arundell took a pass from Freddie Steward and his power and footwork left Andrew Kellaway, Noah Lolesio and finally James O’Connor bamboozled.

On the England bench his teammates were mouths agape.

“Tom Curry said, ‘He’s going to score that’. I think it was a bit of sarcastic comment and he actually did,” Ellis Genge revealed.

The try spared a predictable clamour for Arundell’s fresh blood to be injected from the start in Brisbane next week, although fans and media are divided on where he might fit into the XV.

“He (Arundell) had no right [to score]. It is not like he skinned people, he ran through two people then skinned someone.,’ said former England player Dyla Hartley on Sky Sports.

“I think he has proved on the big stage he is capable and I suppose in a long tour like this three games there is opportunity.

“Somebody may get injured or Eddie might want to try him on the wing or play him at centre but who knows.

World Cup winning coach Clive Woodward says Jones must start Arundell on the wing in Brisbane” Arundell has to start, 100 per cent. He has speed in abundance and his try in the first Test was superb. He starts on the wing in my team for the second match.”

Noah’s impressive arc

The last time Noah Lolesio had an impact in a game before Saturday night’s late call up was his missed drop goal attempt as the Brumbies bowed out of the Super Rugby competition against the Blues.

The youngster was very impressive 10 days ago when he talked about that disappointment to the media, opening up on the impact it had.

“I’ve definitely learned from it,” Lolesio said.

“If I’m being completely honest, it took me three to four days to get over [it]. I know it was such a big part of the game and I really felt like I let my teammates down, which is not what you want to do. I move on from that. The biggest thing I’ve learned in rugby is you’ve got to have a short-term memory when stuff like that happens.”

Noah Lolesio

Noah Lolesio of the Wallabies shapes to pass during game one. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

It can’t have been easy to be pitched into the starting side after Quade Cooper’s warm up calf injury, but he took it in his stride.

“I feel like it took me time to find my groove there but I’m just happy we got the result to be honest,” said Lolesio after the game.

Tim Horan, on Stan Sport, noted Lolesio’s growing maturity.

“This year Dan McKellar and the coaching staff at the Brumbies have really managed him correctly,” said Horan.

“He’s taken on a more of a leadership role and attacked the gain line more this year with the Brumbies. That’s why when Dan McKellar gives him the opportunity when you come to a Test match you know how to play that front foot footy.”

Lolesio’s selection on the bench over a James O’Connor still returning to his maximum fitness after injury was foresightful.

“There was a reason why he was on the bench,” said Dave Rennie.

“He’s performed really well for the Brumbies. He’s trained really well in the last couple of weeks and there was a lot of confidence.

“He found out he was playing in maybe the last couple of minutes of our warmup and didn’t blink an eye. He was ready.

“Whitey came over, obviously they’re club mates, and he was excited for him. We dragged James out of the stand and got him stripped up and ready to go. Noah was excellent and his goalkicking under pressure again – we’ve seen that a lot of times – was really impressive.”

Lolesio nailed four kicks from four including two crucial conversions from out wide right.

Speaking on The Roar’s instant reaction podcast, Brett McKay said of Lolesio’s conversion for Jordan Petaia’s try wide on the right “I’ve seen him make that kick under pressure so many times. He nails that kick so often – he did it for the Brumbies only a month ago. He won an NRC semifinal, the Canberra Vikings with a kick from almost the same spot. I’ve seen him do it so often and as soon as he lined that kick up I knew he was going to make it.”

Podcast co-host Harry Jones said the late inclusion could have rattled a lot of young 10s. “That was a big moment in his career,” said Jones.

‘I know how that’s been scripted’

Darcy Swain will face a judiciary hearing on Tuesday after his sending off for the incident with Jonny Hill.

Jones laughed off suggestions that there had been a tactical decision to win up the Australian, although it looked all the world that that was the case as Hill smacked Swain with two hands to the face well before the hair tugging that preceded the head butt.

“Not to my knowledge. It was just one of those things mate where two bulls go at each other and they get a bit carried away,” Jones said.

Horan said Swain was “drawn into the niggle It was inexperience from Darcy Swain. He’ll look at this and go ‘I made a big mistake.’

“He’ll spend maybe three or four weeks on the sideline. He’ll understand you can’t get drawn into that sort of thing.”

Former Wallaby lock Justin Harrison was in no doubt what happened.

“I’ve been given the task by Eddie to draw my opposition number into exactly what Darcy Swain got drawn into. I know exactly how that’s been scripted.”

Harrison said the judiciary should look at Hill’s earlier actions.

“That’s attacking the head of another player with both hands,” said Harrison. “I’d be really surprised if the independent citing commission doesn’t look at this game and want to have a closer look at that one. Jonny Hill will want to keep his suit fresh for maybe a judicial hearing.”

‘That’s a made up question’

Former England star Will Greenwood says Jones’ decision to persist with Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell left the team caught between two styles.

“England are blessed with two excellent fly-halves. Individually, Marcus Smith does things that no one else can do. And whatever your club allegiance, you have to acknowledge that Owen Farrell has and can be magnificent for England. If you say anything different, you are not watching the competitiveness and the edge that Farrell brings to the game,” wrote Greenwood inn the Telegraph.

“Yet as a former centre who is protective of specialists at 12 and 13, I have always felt that with Smith and Farrell it is a case of ‘or’, not ‘and’. You have to select one of those two, not both. That is not a slight on their capabilities, but at the moment it is a case of square pegs in round holes. They are such big characters, such big fly-halves, who play and see the game in very different ways.”

Jones defended the 10-12 combination which had its first full match together in the first Test.

He bristled at one line of questioning on Saturday when asked what gave him confidence that Smith and Farrell could work

“I’ve seen enough to show that it will,” Jones said.

Pushed on if that was in training and matches, an exasperated Jones responded: “They’ve only played one game together, mate and that’s the game today. They had half a a game against Australia [in November]. They’ll be very good together but it takes time.”

He was asked if it also took bravery on his part “if there are other established partnerships” he could use.

“Such as? Please don’t me questions that are made up, mate. That’s a made up question. You’re trying to be antagonistic. What are you talking about?

“We’ve had one and half games and we’re in the infancy of doing this and it will take time.”

Greenwood said: “You have to back one, understanding that the other is a very decent back-up…

“You just feel that England right now are caught between two styles and are not sure which way to go. There is hesitation over how they are going to beat teams. If you play Danny Care and Smith together, you have to let them play how they do for their club. It’s a classic case of confusion.”

The Roar expert Harry Jones, speaking on the instant reaction podcast said it was time for Farrell to be stood aside.

“Owen Farrell continues to dull the point of the spear of England’s attack,” said Harry Jones. “He needs to be a back up or out of the squad to allow Marcus Smith run it with Danny Care.

“Every time it seemed to be building he would dull it and he missed his kicks.”





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