England’s Jonny May has Rory Underwood in sights

England coach Eddie Jones feels Jonny May can overhaul Rory Underwood’s try-scoring record as the flying winger has still to reach his peak.

England head coach Eddie Jones: Wales next.

Gloucester star May took his international tally to 31 with two tries in Saturday’s 18-7 win over Ireland, the second being a stunning solo effort from inside his own 22. He is now level with World Cup winners Ben Cohen and Will Greenwood in England’s all-time list and only Underwood sits in front of him with 49.

That might seem too much for May to overhaul given the 59-cap star turns 31 in April.

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But Jones insisted: “I don’t see why not. He’s only going to get better; I think he’ll be at his best when 32, 33. He’s 30 now so there’s no reason why he can’t keep scoring tries and being one of our most important players.”

May, who made his England debut in 2013, had gone five Test matches without scoring.

But Jones said: “He’s one of the most professional players I’ve seen, always trying to get better and looking for ways to be quicker. Maybe when he was younger he’d get a little despondent when he didn’t score tries. Now he knows his role’s much bigger than that and tries are obviously cherished but are not the things that determine whether he has a good game or not.

“For instance, in the game against Italy, his kick-chase and kick return work was absolutely outstanding. He broke a record for the amount of his speed running. We’ve never seen as much as we did in that game. He got no reward on the scoreboard but today he did.”

England face Wales on Saturday and Jones said: “They’re playing at the heart and soul of Welsh rugby – Llanelli – where they had some of the greatest victories in Welsh rugby. We know they’ll be a completely different animal and on a ground that’s not a stadium so is open to the elements more.”

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