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Ilkley's Arundale gets Indonesia call up
Just three weeks after playing for his club at Twickenham, Ilkley scrum half Kirk Arundale has jetted off for international duty.
The 25-year-old is Indon- esia’s most capped player and is joining up with their squad for the HSBC Asian 5 Nations Division Three tournament, in Kuala Lumpur.
Indonesia play in Division Three of the popular competition and will find themselves competing against Guam, India and Pakistan.
Arundale, who has an English father and Indonesian mother, was born in Bogor in Indonesia and lived there for the first three months of his life.
But it was only after searching on Google for details of Indonesian rugby that he got his first international call up in 2009. Since then he has won 14 caps.
“I was at Manchester Metropolitan University fin- ishing my degree when a friend and I decided to search the internet,” said Arundale.
“I came across some details and made contact with the officials over there and was invited for a trial.
“They contributed to the cost of my flight out there and I impressed enough to get selected and have been a regular ever since.”
Arundale, who was playing with Ilkley’s neighbours Otley at the time, soon caught the eye and was even named captain in 2010, He has since lost that role but is quite happy for others to take the lead. “I am not bothered about the captaincy,” he said.
“I enjoy the playing and it is great playing over there because interest is growing all the time.
“People are getting more and more interested and the standard is rising.
“There should be some very interesting games, not least the first one in our group when India face Pakistan.
“I bet that will be competitive, and we start off against possibly the best side in the group, Guam.
“We are seeded number three but we are looking to impress as we have a new coach.”
Jamie Johnston, the former Kenya national sevens coach and London Harlequin is in charge. He has replaced last year’s Duncan Hall.
The Australian has moved on to coach the United Arab Emirates national team.
Johnston will be putting Arundale and his fellow squad members through their paces at a special three-day training camp in Jakarta before they fly to Malaysia on May 29.
The first round games will be played the following day with the two winners meeting in the final. The losers will play off for the third place.
After a long season with Ilkley which saw them lose 34-18 to East Grinstead in the final of the National Intermediate Cup on May 5, it is a tough schedule.
“I don’t mind,” said Arundale. “Of course it will be demanding but I enjoy playing rugby and I can look forward to a short holiday after the tournament.”
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