"Sh***ing myself" - England winger Jonny May explains why he was given shock invite to North Korea - Ruck

“Sh***ing myself” – England winger Jonny May explains why he was given shock invite to North Korea

Jonny May recently shared a wild story about getting a letter from the North Korean embassy six years ago, which sparked an interesting reaction from former England coach Eddie Jones.

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Now retired from Test rugby at 33, May recounted this bizarre incident on The Good, The Bad and The Rugby podcast, shedding light on the unexpected contact from the embassy of the authoritarian state.

May began: “I get back to my pigeon hole in Gloucester, there’s a letter like something from Harry Potter with a wax stamp and ribbon on it. And I’m like: what the hell is this?

“It was like something from the Royal Family. It’s a letter from the North Korean embassy. So this crazy country, love Kim Jong Un and everything is great (sarcasm), they must have a Google Alert for when something is talked about in the press.”

Haskell interjected: “It’s probably something more extensive than Google Alerts!”

May continued: “‘Dear Jonny May, we’ve seen recently that you have have taken an interest in North Korea, we find this very exciting. We would love to invite you to the embassy to meet our dignitaries and presidents to talk about the history of the country and visit the embassy, and maybe even organise a trip for you to come to North Korea’. At this point I’m like: Woah, what the… I am sh*****g myself. I didn’t know what to make of it.”

Haskell interjected, saying: “A man who has anxiety already, a man who has already had his anxiety tweaked by Eddie Jones and one of the most potent dictatorships the world has ever seen is on your door!”

May continues the story. He said: “Then, what does a 27-year-old with autism, ADHD, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder do in a moment like that? You ring your mum. I’m like: ‘Mum, I’ve got a letter from the North Korean embassy, what am I meant to do with this?’ She was like: ‘You need to get the RFU to reply, do it properly’.

“So then she talked me into ringing Eddie (Jones) to ask for a response. So I’m ringing Eddie, like: ‘Hey mate, I’ve got a letter from the North Korean embassy here and my mum has advised me that we need to respond to this properly’. (Jones replied) ‘Oh yeah, mate?’

“‘What do you think we should say?’ He starts laughing and says: ‘Well tell them to f**k off, mate!’ So I’m like: ‘Mum, Eddie said we should tell the North Korean embassy just to f**k off’. And my mum just didn’t really understand the humour. That’s North Korea story!”

The top 10 fastest rugby players of all-time, list includes Lomu and Rees-Zammit

From lightning-fast sprints down the pitch to breathtaking tries, the sport has seen its fair share of rapid players who have left defenders in their wake.

While the notion of settling the debate about the fastest players through a head-to-head race remains a tantalising fantasy, the reality of retired athletes and diverse eras makes such a showdown improbable.

However, we can still embark on the exhilarating journey of uncovering some of the speed demons who have graced the rugby field.

Note: We’ve not included sevens players on this list.

10. Jonny May – England – 10.71 seconds (100m)

England’s Jonny May isn’t just fast; he’s a force to be reckoned with. Clocking in at an impressive 10.71 seconds over 100 meters, May’s lightning speed has made him a formidable presence on the pitch. With an ever-growing prowess in finishing, May’s name often finds itself at the forefront of Eddie Jones’ team selections.

9. Cheslin Kolbe – South Africa – 10.70 seconds (100m)

Cheslin Kolbe’s speed is the stuff of legend. A product of South Africa’s rugby system, Kolbe blazed through school with a staggering 10.70-second 100-meter time. Today, he’s even faster, making him a nightmare for opposition defences.