England 18-7 Ireland: No limit to where Jonny May can go, says Eddie Jones

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Jonny May ran almost the length of the field to score his second try against Ireland

England coach Eddie Jones thinks there are “no limits” to what Jonny May is capable of following the wing’s two tries in England’s win over Ireland.

May scored twice in the first half of the 18-7 Autumn Nations Cup victory at Twickenham.

He has now crossed 31 times for England, level with Ben Cohen and Will Greenwood and with only Rory Underwood on 49 ahead of him in the men’s team.

“The great thing is he is 30 and still improving,” Jones told BBC Sport.

“There is no limit to where he can go. I don’t think I have ever seen a player who is more professional in his preparation than Jonny. He is fast and elusive, at one stage it looked like he had spiders all over him.”

The Gloucester player’s second try was a brilliant solo effort that began inside England’s own 22.

It saw him elude several Irish players deep in his own half before a kick ahead that allowed him to race clear of scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park to latch onto another tap towards the tryline.

“Opportunities like that these days are less and less, because defences are better and better, and breakdowns are tougher and tougher,” May told BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra.

Autumn Nations Cup pool a

“The only real chance to get ball in a bit of space is at a turnover. We have a flip-the-switch drill in training that has prepared me to take an opportunity like that. It just bounced up for me nicely, but that’s rugby.

“My game within a game is focusing on my speed. That’s my role, so I spend hours priming myself for moments like that.”

After building an 18-0 lead in the second half, England sat back and superbly resisted Irish pressure until Jacob Stockdale went over for a late consolation try.

It was the first points England had conceded in 215 playing minutes, going back to the first half of the Six Nations game against Italy on 31 October.

“We put ourselves in a good position to maybe go on and dominate. We didn’t, but there is a lot more in us, which is pleasing,” added Jones, who was named England head coach five years ago on Friday.

“Defence was pretty good but we are disappointed with the try at the end. We’d have liked to have a clean sheet, as they say in football, but we are improving. I particularly liked the ferocity of our ruck defence today.”

England’s final Group A game in the Autumn Nations Cup is on 28 November when they face Wales at Parc y Scarlets.

If they avoid defeat, they will face the winners of Group B on 6 December to decide the overall champion of the new competition.

The other group features Italy, Scotland, France and Fiji, but the latter have been unable to play any games because of a coronavirus outbreak in the squad.

“Wales is a massive game,” added Jones. “If they have one game a year to save their season, it is against England. There is intense rivalry, the Scarlets’ ground is an open one, so the elements will affect the game. It will be tough and we will pick our best 23 again.”

Jonny May outjumps Hugo Keenan to score England's first try v Ireland
May outjumped Hugo Keenan to score England’s first try against Ireland

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