England's May up to speed for Wallabies

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 08:39

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: England wing Jonny May believes he's quicker than ever heading into Saturday's Cook Cup clash against Australia at Twickenham.

May, fit following hamstring trouble, has been recalled to the starting XV in a back three shake-up caused by fullback Mike Brown being ruled out with concussion from last week's 21-8 win over Argentina.

Despite only recently returning from injury, Leicester wing May has set a new personal best speed of 10.49 metres per second.

With the speedy Anthony Watson and Elliot Daly alongside him, England now boast a rapid back three, although how they make the most of them in attack remains to be seen.

As for his new turn of speed, May said: "I was gobsmacked that I did it really because I had just tweaked my hammy the week before.

"It was a 40 or 50 metre sprint. It was a rehab run. I was shocked. I didn't think I would go anywhere that fast.

"We have spoken about Australia's kicking game and we want to put pressure on that and hopefully get some good opportunity to run the ball back at them," added May, whose 27 Tests have yielded nine tries.

May, however, played down comparisons between his speed and that of track sprinters such as Usain Bolt.

"It's just a different discipline because with rugby when you sprint you go balls out and let it all go," May said.

"The sprinters are trained to build into a run and hit speeds that we couldn't get near. But those guys don't have to hit rucks and catch high balls."

May sometimes appears a figure of fun to teammates who revel in his eccentric behaviour off the field.

But England coach Eddie Jones said the 27-year-old's commitment to rugby was outstanding as he recalled May's performances on the recent tour of Argentina.

"He's a good player, he played well for us in Argentina, particularly the second Test. He suffered quite a serious ankle injury, played for 65 minutes and played superbly," said Jones.

"He's strong, he's fast, he'll be the fastest wing on the field."

"Australia are probably the form team in the world at the moment... we'll need Jonny to finish on the wing," the former Australia and Japan coach added.

Agence France-Presse