England offered major boost for Japan clash with Jonny May and Jamie George returning to fitness

England offered major boost for Japan clash with Jonny May and Jamie George returning to fitness

Jonny May will hand England a timely boost by being available for selection this week, while Jamie George has also returned to the group.

Gloucester wing May missed England’s 30-29 loss to Argentina with the after-effects of an elbow injury suffered at London Irish last month.

But the 32-year-old will complete a remarkably quick turnaround when returning to full training this week. May will be available for England’s Autumn Nations Series clash against Japan at Twickenham on Saturday, with head coach Eddie Jones praising his ultra-professional attitude.

“He’d be one of the most dedicated professionals I’ve seen,” said Jones, of May. “You’ve only got to tell him something once and he does it. He’s getting to that stage of his career where he’s getting a really good balance of what he needs to do.

Injury boost: Jonny May should be available for England against Japan at Twickenham (PA)
Injury boost: Jonny May should be available for England against Japan at Twickenham (PA)

“You can train too much and you can train not enough. Sometimes the really obsessive players train too much and that sometimes hurts their career. As you get older, you start to understand what your body needs more. And I think Jonny’s next 12 months will be his best yet.”

George was also named in an initial 36-player squad to train for Japan’s visit on Monday, with the Saracens hooker having recovered quickly from two broken metatarsals suffered against Leicester last month. The likes of Northampton duo Tommy Freeman and Alex Mitchell are also drafted in to offer competition on the wing and at scrum-half.

England yesterday slipped to their fifth Test defeat of 2022, with Argentina’s wily Australian head coach Michael Cheika pulling off a first Test win over his friend and compatriot Jones.

England host Japan with Jones determined that mistakes are eradicated. “It was frustrating,” said Jones. “I thought at times we played really well, but then we made some elementary mistakes that kept on inviting them back into the game. [Japan] is a great opportunity for us now, because we’re under the pump, and I think we’ll respond really well.”