Henry Arundell, one of the most exciting talents in English rugby, has undergone surgery on a foot injury which puts his availability for England’s Six Nations campaign in serious doubt.
Arundell, 20, was injured playing for London Irish against Gloucester at the end of October and it was hoped the problem could be treated without surgery, but the wing had an operation on Monday and now faces six weeks in a boot before can think about trying to regain fitness.
Capped three times as replacement on England’s successful summer tour to Australia, Arundell, who scored a try on his debut, could have added much needed pace to Eddie Jones’s under fire squad. After a disappointing Autumn series in which England managed just one win against Japan, Jones will have been expected to bolster his Six Nations squad with more pace.
However, Declan Kidney, the London Irish director of rugby, revealed the latest injury set back for Arundell at today’s media briefing and said: “He has had surgery on Monday and will be out for a number of weeks. 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. “
Kidney is backing in-form Irish win Ollie Hassell-Collins to offer England both pace and physicality for the Six Nations but accepts there are
number of other options including Adam Radwan who will be in the Newcastle side at Brentford on Saturday in the Premiership. Kidney added:“Ollie brings physicality to the teams he plays in and makes line breaks but I am not putting pressure saying he should be a shoe in (for England) but he is putting his hand up. His attitude to improve is a strength.”