Huge blow for English rugby as Henry Arundell’s Racing move rules him out until 2026

  Henry Arundell will be unavailable for England selection until 2026 after agreeing a two-year contract extension with Racing 92.

Arundell, one of the most exciting talents in the English game, cannot be picked by Steve Borthwick due to the Rugby Football Union’s rule of only allowing players in the Gallagher Premiership to be considered for selection.

The dynamic 21-year-old full-back has turned down a move to Bath that would have been enhanced by one of the RFU’s hybrid contracts, which are being introduced next year. The financial collapse of London Irish at the end

of the previous season led to his transfer to Racing, and although the circumstances allowed him to play in the World Cup, his choice to remain in Paris condemns him to exile in England beginning with the Six Nations.

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“We are thrilled that Henry has decided to continue with Racing 92,” stated Laurent Travers, president of the organization. “Despite just recently joining our team a few weeks ago, he has already shown all the traits of a very competitive and mature individual. He is a wonderful fit for the club’s short- and medium-term goals, and we have no doubt that he will be a key player in achieving them.

Henry Arundell won't be pulling on the white shirt of England for a while.

Arundell’s current contract expires in June 2026, thus he may choose to sign with a Premiership team in order to compete in the next World Cup. After scoring five tries in the France 2023 tournament against Chile, he returned to thrill Racing supporters with a hat-trick against Toulon, solidifying his place among the most potent runners in the league.

Although he is the youngest player to commit to the Top 14, he joins international teammates Jack Willis, Sam Simmonds, Jack Nowell, Joe Marchant, and David Ribbans in doing so, which is a setback for the English game.


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