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England’s Jonny May admits ‘I want to watch free-flowing rugby too’ amid negativity in the sport

Jonny May admits ‘I want to watch free-flowing rugby too’ amid gloom in the sport over negative playing style as he claims England can deliver an attacking display against France

  • Jonny May is confident England can deliver attacking display against France 
  • Autumn Nations Cup has been characterised by stifling defence and kicking 
  • The flying winger’s dazzling try against Ireland two weeks ago was a highlight 
  • He admitted he also wants to see free-flowing rugby but says it is difficult 

England’s deadliest finisher, Jonny May, is confident that the national team can deliver a better attacking performance on Sunday, to alleviate the current negativity in the sport.

The 30-year-old Gloucester wing illuminated this Autumn Nations Cup campaign with a dazzling solo try against Ireland a fortnight ago, but the tournament as a whole has been characterised by stifling defence and endless kicking duels. 

Amid an out-pouring of unrest about tedious tactics, May has insisted that England can raise their game in the final against France, but reiterated that it is tough to escape the defensive shackles at present.

Jonny May says he also wants to see ‘free-flowing rugby’ and says England can deliver it

‘The result is the most important thing,’ he said. ‘We want to win, but we do want to attack a bit better and feel that we can. The nature of the game at the moment means it is hard to attack. 

‘The breakdown is tough. There are long stoppages in play which means there is less fatigue out there. Defences are getting smarter, players are more athletic, props are playing like second rows and second rows are playing like back rows, covering the space better.

‘You have to plough more people into the breakdown to get rid of the poachers, so you are probably attacking with fewer numbers than there are defenders. It’s a difficult challenge at the moment. But there are opportunities there. We are working on it and feel we can attack better.’

There has negativity in the sport after games of incessant box-kicking and stifling defence

There has negativity in the sport after games of incessant box-kicking and stifling defence

May emphasised a need to enjoy the sport in all its many guises, adding: ‘Of course everyone wants to watch exciting, free-flowing rugby and I want to be part of that. 

‘But you’ve got to appreciate the way the game is now. It’s a lot more physical, the games are a lot tighter and there’s so much more contest all over the pitch. That’s rugby as well. It’s a competitive, physical sport.’



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