Gloucester winger Jonny May has confirmed his retirement from international rugby, having ended his England career after the 2023 Rugby World Cup. May hangs up his international boots as England’s second-highest try scorer, with 36 tries in 78 test matches.
Only Rory Underwood has scored more England tries, as the legendary winger scored 49 times whilst wearing the red rose. There was a lot of speculation regarding Jonny May’s retirement, with Courtney Lawes letting the plans slip in a post-match interview following England’s bronze medal win over Argentina in Paris.
May joins Lawes, and England’s most-capped men’s player Ben Youngs for international retirement, following the 2023 Rugby World Cup. May was a late addition to Steve Borthwick’s squad, as the Gloucester flyer was initially left out of the 33-man squad for the trip to France. However, an calf injury to Anthony Watson opened up the door for May, who had remained with Borthwick’s squad in a ‘first-reserve’ role.
Watson’s injury came during the Summer Nations Series, which enabled May to finish off England’s preparations ahead of the Rugby World Cup. May did not miss a beat in France, and was amongst England’s top performers. His star outing came in the semi-final, as despite coming away on the losing side of the score-sheet, May worked expertly well in keeping the dynamic threat of Cheslin Kolbe silenced.
May confirmed his international retirement in a statement, with a special mention to England fly-half George Ford:
“Words can’t describe the journey that I’ve been on so I won’t try to put it into words. At this point in time all I want to say from the bottom of my heart is a huge thank you to everybody who has been a part of this journey with me.
“I really can’t mention them all, the list is too long, but from my very first coaches and teachers to all the medical and training staff that have helped me along the way.
“A big special mention to my England team mates, guys who have lived every moment with me. I’ve made memories and friends for life. And quickly, just to mention one in particular, George Ford. Thank you mate.
“Another special thank you – a huge thank you – to the England fans. The ones at Twickenham, the ones who have made all this come to life for me. It’s been incredible.
“It’s an honour and a dream to represent my country and although I won’t be out there on the pitch anymore physically I will always feel connected to this team in spirit. Thank you.”