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Henry Arundel: England winger absent from England duty until 2026 after new Racing deal

Henry Arundel: England winger absent from England duty until 2026 after new Racing deal

Image source, Getty Images

Comment on the photo, Henry Arundel makes his England debut in 2022

Henry Arundel has signed a contract extension with French club Racing 92, making him ineligible to play for England.

The winger's new contract will run until 2026, meaning he will miss the England national team until then.

Rugby Football Union rules do not allow overseas-based players to be selected for England.

Racing president Laurent Travers said: “He fits perfectly with the club's short and medium-term objectives.”

“We are convinced that he will be one of the driving forces in achieving these goals.

“He only joined our team a few weeks ago, but he has already shown all those qualities of a great competitor and great maturity.”

Arundel, 21, joined Paris-based Racing after London Irish went bankrupt and scored three tries against Toulon on his debut.

He scored a joint England record with five tries on his World Cup debut against Chile in September.

England coach Steve Borthwick is already missing captain Owen Farrell for the 2024 Six Nations, which starts in February.

“No way it's a good move.”

Speaking on Rugby Union Weekly, former England player Chris Ashton questioned Arundel's decision to stay in France at this stage of his career.

“I would like to know how many players between the ages of 20 and 21 have left their country and become successful?” Ashton said.

“I can't see how this is the right thing to do now. There are times in your career to do these things.”

“I needed someone at that age who would like a mentor right, spend a lot of time, put a lot of effort into me.

“You need someone who is willing to devote a significant amount of time to children this age.”

Former England winger Ugo Moni described Arundel as a “special talent” who needs to “develop his game”.

“The steps from local to European to international are important,” Monye added. He added: “The game at international level is completely different from club football.

“While Henry is very special, I don't think he fully understands what is required of a winger at international level.”