Jonny May is set to face Gloucester team-mate Louis Rees-Zammit when England take on Wales in round three of the Six Nations on February 27; Rees-Zammit has scored three tries in two games; May: “He’s going to be a world-class player.”
Last Updated: 20/02/21 7:17am
Jonny May has tipped Gloucester team-mate Louis Rees-Zammit to become a “world-class player” after his free-scoring start to this year’s Six Nations.
Wales wing Rees-Zammit is the tournament’s leading tryscorer with three tries in two games, having grabbed the decisive scores in Wales’ wins over Ireland and Scotland.
May’s battle with Rees-Zammit on the left wing could be one of the highlights of England’s game with Wales in Cardiff on February 27 as Eddie Jones’ side seek back-to-back wins, and May is predicting big things for the 20-year-old.
“It’s great to see him doing well,” May told Sky Sports News. “I’ve enjoyed playing with him at Gloucester and being around him.
“He’s absolutely rapid and he’s got a good feel for the game as well. He’s going to be a world-class player.
“It’s good being at Gloucester with him, Ollie Thorley, Jason (Woodward). We’ve got some good back three players and I think we’re bringing the best out of each other. We’re bouncing off each other a bit.”
Having faltered in attack in their dismal defeat to Scotland, England responded with a six-try victory over Italy last weekend with May producing an acrobatic finish in the corner.
The try moved May to outright second in England’s all-time tryscorer list with his 32nd score but he says there is still plenty of room for improvement ahead of next weekend’s contest at the Principality Stadium.
“The Scotland game was incredibly disappointing,” said May. “We just wanted to go out there and strip things back a little bit, make things a little bit simpler for ourselves.
“The backs met a couple of times in the week and said that we need to start moving the ball a bit more, not stressing about the detail all that much or overthinking it. Let’s just move the ball around – why not get our hands on the ball and take people on.
“I think we did that. It wasn’t perfect but the intent was in the right place.”
Dan Robson believes rugby needs to find an appropriate balance with contact sessions in training as player welfare comes back into the spotlight.
In an open letter to World Rugby, the Progressive Rugby group, which includes former and current players, cited reducing contact in training as one of their proposals to improve player safety and reduce the risk of injuries.
England scrum-half Robson has seen improvements in how clubs conduct contact sessions during his 11 years as a professional, but cautioned that going too far the other way would put players at risk of injury in matches due to not being prepared enough for the contact they face in games.
“It’s tough,” Robson said. “You can definitely go that way and then more injuries happen because the body is not used to that contact as much.
“You can’t just have that weekend be a shock to the system with guys running at you, and you putting your body on the line. There has got to be a middle line and from my time in rugby clubs have got better at that.
“Certainly, at Wasps the contact we do is a lot more controlled stuff, technique based. There are positives and negatives to both sides, and I don’t feel it will be as easy as saying ‘no contact in training’ and crack on.”