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May happy to be unpredictable

Jonny May promises to keep Twickenham guessing in Sunday's RBS 6 Nations title showdown between England and Wales by continuing to operate on instinct alone.

May insists he is at his most potent when playing without thinking in a labyrinthine running style that beguiles players, management and supporters in equal measure.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster describes the unpredictable Gloucester wing as "unorthodox, creating fear in the opposition because he has such fantastic footwork and pace".

And his darting runs have caught the attention of Warren Gatland, Lancaster's opposite number with Wales, who notes: "He's not too sure of which way he's going and I'm not too sure if their players know which way he's going either".

The 23-year-old, viewed as having the 'X-factor' by Lancaster, agrees with Gatland that even he is unsure about the route he is plotting through the opposition defence.

"It really is playing on instinct. When I'm out there I'm at my best when I'm not thinking, having just a clear head," May said.

"I react to what's in front of me and play what's second nature.

"I react late and don't make my mind up, or I make my mind up at the last minute, or maybe I don't need to make my mind up....I don't necessarily know what I'm going to do.

"That's just the way I am and that's the way I want to keep playing because that's when I feel I'm at my most dangerous. I have to give it everything I've got.

"When I defend I know that when people stand deep, almost knowing what they're going to do before they get the ball, they are easier to read.

"But people who make the decision late and don't necessarily know what they're going to do tend to be a little harder to defend against."

May has impressed throughout the Six Nations and on the evidence of his four caps is unfazed by international rugby.

But with wing Marland Yarde and centre Manu Tuilagi restored to fitness and threatening to break back into the starting XV, May knows he can ill-afford to allow any more try-scoring opportunities slip from his grasp.

At end of a 17-phase move in the 13-10 victory over Ireland, he dropped the ball over the line and, while he was riding a double tackle from Andrew Trimble and Conor Murray at the time, it was a chance that had to be put away.

"Stuart told me 'you've got to finish that'. Everybody knows it, I know it," May said.

"There's no point going too hard on me or looking into it too much. It's just one of those things

"I managed to get my hands on the ball quite a lot early on and made quite a few yards

"But on top of that I had to finish that opportunity. I felt like I'd almost done the hard work, working off that wing and beating that last defender.

"I'd already got over the line so I didn't really need to put it down with one hand.

"It should have been safe under one arm but their defenders did a really good job of knocking it out of my hand before I'd put it down.

"But I've learnt from it and have moved on. Overall I was really pleased with my game."

May will continue on the left wing when England name their team to face Wales on Friday morning.

Ben Morgan will start at number eight in the only change to the starting XV, replacing the injured Billy Vunipola, with Tom Johnson taking Morgan's place on the bench.


From Belfast Telegraph