Jonny May’s bid to be fit for England’s opening autumn international this Saturday looks destined to end in failure after failing to recover from his hamstring injury in time to feature in Eddie Jones’ squad that will take on Argentina.
Elliot Daly and Anthony Watson are poised to start on the wing against the Pumas, with May still short on fitness after suffering injury last week at a training camp in Portugal. Daly, who missed the training camp with a knee injury of his own, looks set to win his fitness battle, with forwards coach Steve Borthwick confirming on Wednesday that the Wasps back has “trained well” since coming back into the England squad this week.
Despite looking close to a return, Leicester Tigers wing May is unlikely to feature this Saturday at Twickenham, meaning he will be one of three players to drop out of the 26-man squad that Jones retained this week.
“Jonny hurt his hamstring in Portugal. He’s made a lot of progress but remains unlikely for Argentina,” Borthwick said.
“Daly wasn’t with us in Portugal but joined the squad on Sunday. We didn’t initially know how severe the injury was but he’s made great progress and has trained well.”
With Daly and Watson, the British and Irish Lions pair, set to start on, Bath’s Semesa Rokoduguni will cover from the replacements’ bench as May misses out – something that in itself is a blow given his record of 10 tries in nine matches this season but one that is lessened by the calibre of his replacements.
Despite solving the back-three, Jones still has two selection conundrums on his hands. The most obvious is the outside centre position, with Henry Slade and Jonathan Joseph battling for the 13 shirt, and unless Jones decides to drop one of them completely, Saracens back Alex Lozowski looks set to miss out on the match-day squad.
Elliot Daly is poised to start on the wing for England (Getty)