England have greater 'clarity' ahead of South Africa test, says winger May

By Sports Desk November 25, 2022

England have "more clarity" than they did a year ago on who they are as a team under Eddie Jones, says winger Jonny May ahead of their clash with South Africa.

The hosts welcome the Springboks to face them at Twickenham in a rematch of the 2019 Rugby World Cup final, less than a year out from the 2023 tournament in France.

It has been a hit-and-miss November international break for Jones' men so far, with a win, a loss and a draw to their name, the latter in a thrilling 25-25 encounter with New Zealand.

But May believes they are starting to take shape ahead of next year's campaign, as England look to win a first World Cup for two decades across the channel.

"I think we have got more clarity in what we are trying to be and what we are, from this time last year," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"We are trying to be an adaptable team, a smart team, a team that still has all the traditional aspects of English rugby, but can play in slightly different ways.

"There are so many variables. You need to be a team that understands the story and the theme of a game and can adapt to weather, referees, injuries, television match officials and then take your chances in the game.

"That is what we are trying to achieve, and it is difficult. We talk about the top eight in the world being very close together, and I think the team that can break out of that pack will be an all-round package."

Having rallied late on to earn their draw with New Zealand, hooker Jamie George is hopeful England can channel the Twickenham energy they closed the game out with into a successful result against South Africa.

"The atmosphere at the end of that game was unbelievable, some of the best atmosphere I have played rugby in," he added to the BBC's Rugby Union Weekly. "We on the field need to give people things to shout about.

"We want to be able to do that for 80 minutes against South Africa and get Twickenham bouncing again."

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