Rugby’s new wonderkid just scored the try of the season and he qualifies for Wales

London Irish’s teenage full-back Henry Arundell is being hailed as “world-class” after dancing through defenders to score a “remarkable” try against Toulon.

The 19-year-old replacement, who is qualified to play for Wales, England or Scotland, received the ball just in front of his own try line in the 74th minute at Stade Felix Mayol and initially burst through a gap in his own 22 before gear-changing to leave six would-be tacklers in his wake as he slalomed his way almost 100 metres at devastating speed to dive over in the corner.

“This is remarkable,” Jamie Lyall said of the jaw-dropping solo score on the match commentary. “What a break from Arundell. That is astonishing. A try to end all tries.” Co-commentator David Flatman said: “I don’t care if he’s a rookie, this is world-class. There just ain’t many players in the world who could have done that, would have done that. Absolutely sensational.”

The moment of magic will only further accelerate Arundell’s meteoric rise and comes after he pulled off a man-of-the-match performance in just 20 minutes last weekend in his side’s 42-42 draw with Wasps.

On the international stage, he made a big impression for England U20s during the recent Six Nations by scoring two tries against Wales and one apiece against Scotland and France, with the touchdown in Edinburgh described as a “moment of sheer magic” as the youngster ran 80 metres to score. He has been tipped for a call-up into Eddie Jones’ senior squad for the summer tour to Australia after making a remarkable impact, first for the U20s and now London Irish at senior level.

But England are not his only admirers, according to reports. The Mail reported last month that Scotland are thought to be checking him out as a possible long-term successor to current captain Stuart Hogg, also reporting “Wales [are] understood to be monitoring his situation closely, too, the young flyer is much in demand”.

Despite the dazzling run across the whitewash on Sunday, London Irish suffered a a 19-18 European Challenge Cup quarter-final defeat at Toulon. Arundell’s effort had hauled the Exiles back to within a point, but Paddy Jackson’s conversion attempt from the touchline to win it sailed agonisingly wide, meaning Toulon will now face Saracens in the semi-finals next weekend.

It was harsh on Irish who were outstanding for much of the first half, but Toulon gradually imposed themselves, with an opportunist try from flanker and captain Charles Ollivon on the hour mark ultimately making the difference.


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