Jonny May to miss England’s critical second Test against Australia with Covid effects lingering

·2 min read
Jonny May to miss England’s critical second Test against Australia with Covid effects lingering

Both teams have suffered selection blows ahead of Saturday’s crucial second Test between England and Australia, with Jonny May and Quade Cooper set to miss out again.

May missed England’s 30-28 defeat in Perth on Saturday after testing positive for Covid-19 on arrival down under.

May is out of isolation but has lingering effects of the virus which means he is having to follow a “graded return to full training” that is set to rule him out of this weekend’s game in Brisbane.

May is England’s most experienced outside back on tour and his absence gives coach Eddie Jones a headache.

He must decide whether to stick with Jack Nowell, who played well on Saturday, and Joe Cokanasiga, or turn to Henry Arundell, the London Irish youngster who made such an impressive impact off the bench, scoring a superb try on debut with his first touch in international rugby.

Nowell and No8 Billy Vunipola picked up minor knocks in the defeat that have limited their training time, but both are set to be available this weekend.

Absent: Jonny May will stay sidelined for England’s second Test against Australia in Brisbane (Getty Images)
Absent: Jonny May will stay sidelined for England’s second Test against Australia in Brisbane (Getty Images)

England had already lost Tom Curry for the remainder of the tour due to concussion, but are well stocked on the openside, with Lewis Ludlam, Sam Underhill and Jack Willis competing to replace him.

Each offers different strengths, with Ludlam the strongest carrier, Underhill the best in defence, and Willis outstanding over the ball.

Australia lost the experienced fly-half Cooper to a calf injury in the warm-up before Saturday’s opener, and reports suggest that he is set to miss both the second and third Tests.

Youngster Noah Lolesio came in to start in Perth but James O’Connor, who was summoned from corporate commitments to sit on the bench at a few minutes’ notice, is a more seasoned option.

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