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What Arundell's Bath snub means for England selection

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Monday Dec 11, 2023

Just five days ago it was being reported that Henry Arundell could well be back to England in a shock signing with Bath ahead of next season. As it’s turned out, the former London Irish winger is reported to have chosen not to return to England, but instead re-sign with French outfit, Racing 92.

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By turning down the reported joint contract offer between Bath and the RFU, Arundell will have put his international future in jeopardy unless changes are made to the laws on selecting overseas players. The RFU is currently attempting to incentivise England-qualified players to remain in the country by offering a reported £150k on top of the club’s offering, also giving them greater control over the player’s schedule.

Sadly, Arundell will not likely be available for the upcoming Six Nations in just under three months time, as it was required that he sign a contract with an English club ahead of the 2024/2025 season to be available. Having now reportedly signed a contract with Racing 92 until 2025, he will have fully ruled himself out.

Fans have been expressive about his choice, with many supporting the young back-three player, claiming that he will gain better experience playing in a league that perhaps suits his talents more than the English league would.

The 21-year-old has had a flying start to his international career, having scoring 8 tries in his first 10 matches, including a particularly impressive five tries against Chile in this year’s World Cup. His performance in a London Irish shirt first gained him nationwide attention, in particular one game in which he earned the Player of the Match award despite only being on the field for 20 minutes.

It was he 75 metre try against Toulon that truly gained the attention of European rugby, however, in which he dazzled a broken defence in 12 seconds of absolute dynamite.

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