COVID blow for England
NEWS: England suffered a blow early on in their tour of Australia with Jonny May testing positive for COVID-19.
The try-scoring wing’s case was confirmed Friday by the Rugby Football Union after he became symptomatic upon arriving in Perth and under Western Australia government guidelines he must spend the next seven days in self-isolation.
No other members of the touring squad have been involved, with May now unlikely to feature in the first of a three-Test series against the Wallabies on July 2.
The 32-year-old May underwent knee surgery in January.
He made his comeback as a replacement for Gloucester against Saracens earlier this month and started in England’s humiliating 21-52 loss to the Barbarians in a non-cap international at Twickenham last Sunday – a match where the victorious invitational side was a man down for more than half down after Will Skelton was sent off.
May, second only to Rory Underwood in England’s list of all-time leading try-scorers, now has little chance to prove his fitness ahead of the first Test.
“We’re not going to rule Jonny May out at this stage,” coach Eddie Jones said.
“We’ll just see how he is,” Jones added.
“Potentially he’ll be available next Thursday to train, so we’ll have a look to see what he’s like because he’s experienced and he’s showed in his first game back against the Barbarians that he’s lacking game time and that he’s got his best rugby ahead of him.
“We’ll just monitor his situation and make an assessment closer to the day when he gets out.”
England has won all eight of their Tests against the Wallabies since former Australia coach Eddie Jones took charge of the Red Rose brigade following the 2015 World Cup.
Forwards: Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Charlie Ewels (Bath), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Jamie George (Saracens), Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers), Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints), Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks), Patrick Schickerling (Exeter Chiefs), Will Stuart (Bath), Sam Underhill (Bath), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Jack Walker (Harlequins), Jack Willis (Wasps).
Backs: Henry Arundell (London Irish), Danny Care (Harlequins), Joe Cokanasiga (Bath), Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints), George Furbank (Northampton Saints), Will Joseph (London Irish), Joe Marchant (Harlequins), Jonny May (Gloucester), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Guy Porter (Leicester Tigers), Harry Randall (Bristol Bears), Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers).
Sources: AFP & PA