- Gloucester Rugby flyer wants to state case for Argentina involvement
- “We want to embrace the opportunity and do something special” – May
Gloucester Rugby outside back Jonny May sees England’s tour of South America as an ideal chance to showcase his potential and is determined to work towards fulfilling his childhood dream of a Test cap.
May came off the bench during the 40-12 win over the Barbarians on Sunday and is likely to be involved in this weekend’s clash with the CONSUR XV in Montevideo, Uruguay, where Stuart Lancaster will be looking to fine-tune his preparations for the Argentina Test series.
And after galvanising a brief but productive appearance in South Africa a year ago with more domestic excellence – May managed eight tries in 13 Aviva Premiership matches for the Cherry and Whites over the 2012/13 season – he is eager to press on to higher honours.
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“It’s always pleasing to know I am making progress,” explained the 23-year-old, who snatched a brace in a 50-minute cameo against South African Barbarians North last June.
“Obviously to get the opportunity to start on Sunday and put in a good performance would be great with the chance of getting a cap later [in the tour].
“That is something I have dreamed of since I have been really little so I am chuffed to bits.”
May endured a rare scoreless game during England’s defeat of the Barbarians, watching on as Marland Yarde and Christian Wade – main rivals for a starting spot in Salta next month – crossed in a five-try triumph.
However, while lauding his squad mates, the former Hartpury College flyer outlined his aim to make an overwhelming case for selection.
“[Yarde and Wade] are mates of mine but we are competing for positions as well,” he added. “It’s going to be close but all I can do is focus on myself because I can’t control what others are doing.
“I’m probably a little bit taller and more gangly than they are – they have very fast foot-speed but I am slightly more awkward in terms of my stride length. Maybe because I have played in different positions I have a little bit more skill in certain areas, whereas they are more specialist.
“We are all good players, though, and that is why we are here. It’s going to be a tough one for Stuart but that is what we are here to do – put him under pressure to try and make him pick us to play.”
Photo: Getty Images
One of the few members of the 31-man tour party to have played Argentina before (albeit at Under 20 level), May was part of the England side that faced the hosts of the 2010 Junior World Championship in Rosario.
Lining up alongside Joe Marler and Freddie Burns, he stormed to a hat-trick from outside centre in a 48-22 win and rates the experience as “a massive occasion that I will remember for the rest of my life”.
Now graduated to the senior set-up, May finished by hinting that Lancaster’s ethos on this trip – a wholehearted commitment to young, exciting talent – would get the very most out of him as a player.
“Stuart has spoken in meetings about not having the fear of failure,” he said. “That means basically not being afraid to make a mistake and actually embracing the opportunity and trying to do something special.
“That is something I have listened to and something I want to do as well.”