- Wing eager to take attack to France
- Paris will be “like nothing I've experienced before,” says May
Although admitting a Test at the Stade de France – a cacophonous cauldron of emotion – will be like nothing he has experienced before in his young career, Jonny May feels assured and ready to play with the same freedom that brings him so much success with Gloucester Rugby.
Wing May, who wins his second cap this weekend, made his debut in Argentina last June with just three hours’ notice – Christian Wade’s call-up to the British and Irish Lions touring party meant it was a case of “packing boots and heading to the stadium” for the 23 year-old.
However, despite such hasty preparation, he performed with admirable calm and contributed impressively to a comprehensive 51-26 victory over the Pumas that sealed historic series success.
Stuart Lancaster has publically praised that showing and has clearly taken note of some fine club form to hand the exciting attacker another chance from the start in what promises to be a hugely intense RBS 6 Nations opener.
“[Stuart] said that it’s my time now,” said May, who has crossed for seven tries in all competitions this season. “He said I’ve deserved it, so it’s a case of me going out there and play the way I do for Gloucester, getting my hands on the ball and be involved as much as I can.
“It’s such a tight unit as a back division that whoever’s picked, we come together really quick and we’re focussed on the job in hand.
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“It probably won’t be like anything I’ve experienced before in terms of the noise and volume of people because the French are such passionate supporters. I can’t get distracted by that – I’ve just got to focus and play the way I want to play.”
In a largely underwhelming campaign for the Cherry and Whites, a superb 36-18 away defeat of Perpignan in the final Heineken Cup group match two weeks ago secured qualification for the Amilin Challenge Cup quarter final.
Deployed at outside centre that day, May scored a phenomenal try from 60 metres as Nigel Davies’ men upset their French hosts.
Alongside precocious Test debutants Jack Nowell and Luther Burrell in England’s exciting backline on Saturday afternoon, he that wonderful result can be a happy omen.
“If you talk to any player at Gloucester we’d say we’ve been disappointed in how we’ve gone this year, but we have a really talented squad so I feel it’s just a matter of time until we turn it around and start performing the way we can.
“Perpignan was massive for the team because it really lifted us after a dark period. It gave us something to work towards as well because we got a bonus point and now we’re into the Amlin. Personally, it was a good game to finish on and a confidence-booster.”