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‘High expectations’ around Henry Arundell should be encouraged – Les Kiss

Henry Arundell (left) has excelled for England and London Irish (Simon Marper/PA)
Henry Arundell (left) has excelled for England and London Irish (Simon Marper/PA)

London Irish head coach Les Kiss says that “high expectations” should be encouraged around players like Henry Arundell following his memorable debut Test series with England.

Arundell announced himself on the world stage by scoring a try and making another during just seven explosive minutes off the bench in England’s first-Test defeat against Australia.

The 19-year-old made further appearances as England turned the series around with victories in Brisbane and Sydney, continuing his blistering form for Irish last term.

Arundell’s club colleague Will Joseph also broke through on England’s tour Down Under, while other home-grown products at Irish, such as Ollie Hassell-Collins, Tom Parton and Ben Loader, have previously featured on England boss Eddie Jones’ radar.

“Henry is a well-balanced lad, and a real positive and upside to his success it that he respects the opportunity,” Kiss said.

“These guys don’t take it for granted. They have got a lot of humility.

“They know it is on the back of hard work, so they manage it themselves, their peers will manage it and then it is up to us as coaches to make sure that we help them understand what these new challenges will be.

Les Kiss
London Irish head coach Les Kiss has seen the club’s academy talent develop (Martin Rickett/PA)

“I think you have got to put heavy expectation on yourself. That is how you challenge yourself, but it is also being able to understand that from A to B is not a straight line, if that makes sense.

“You have just got to be able to work with the ups and downs in the most productive way.

“We tend to bounce right from great things happening to bouncing low, and it is how you build yourself back to an even keel as quickly as possible, and that is the important thing.

“If it doesn’t happen on day one, it doesn’t mean it is not going to happen.

“It’s about building that type of resilience and commitment for the long term, knowing that if you are hungry enough and you are lucky enough – you have got to be lucky, too – these things will happen.

“So I encourage the high expectations. It is just about having the right approach to reality.”

Irish proved to be one of the Gallagher Premiership’s great entertainers last season, posting 93 league tries – only Northampton and Harlequins scored more – and claiming 14 try bonus points.

They also secured Heineken Champions Cup qualification, returning to European rugby’s blue riband club competition following an 11-year absence.

“To get to Europe was one step. Now, it is about making sure we can do the right things to challenge the top end of the table,” Kiss added.

“So, ultimately, it is about getting the balance right in the playing group we have, and the style we want to play is important.

“Henry and Will making that (England) team and being part of a winning series, that can only serve them at a deeper level, the experiences they have had.

“We have got a lot of boys on international duty around the world – that was always going to serve us well – but for those two young guys to get that experience is very beneficial.”