May closes in on England history after moving fifth on all-time try scorer list
Jonny May’s two tries against France last weekend saw him move into the top five on the all-time England list.
May’s pair of touchdowns came during a disheartening Guinness Six Nations opener for Eddie Jones’ men, who trailed 24-0 prior to the Leicester wing’s intervention – ultimately losing 24-17.
Having overtaken Jason Robinson to go fifth in terms of England try scorers, May could continue to soar up that list if he maintains his form over the course of the championship.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look at the men who have registered the most tries in an England jersey.
1. Rory Underwood – 49 tries
Underwood stands head and shoulders above his closest challengers, holding an 18-try cushion at the top of the all-time list. The former Leicester wing racked up his total in an 85-cap England career from 1984 to 1996. Underwood’s figures were boosted in 1989 by a five-try showing in a 58-23 victory over Fiji at Twickenham and he scored his last for England at the same venue against Wales in the 1996 Five Nations.
=2. Will Greenwood – 31 tries
Greenwood won 55 caps and contributed key tries during England’s triumphant 2003 World Cup campaign. The centre scored the only try as his side beat South Africa to effectively secure top spot in their pool and was also the only Englishman to go over in the quarter-final win over Wales. Greenwood finished the tournament as England’s joint-leading try scorer, alongside Josh Lewsey, who also crossed the whitewash on five occasions.
=2. Ben Cohen – 31 tries
Another man whose international career took in England’s crowning moment in Sydney, Cohen made a big impression on debut by scoring two tries against Ireland in the 2000 Six Nations. He scored his last try for England in a defeat to the All Blacks during the 2006 autumn internationals, which proved to be the wing’s final series with the national team.
4. Jeremy Guscott – 30 tries
Guscott’s England bow produced even more tries than Cohen’s, albeit against lesser opposition in Romania – a performance that earned him a late call-up to the British and Irish Lions tour of Australia. The former Bath centre went on to make try-scoring contributions in six of his first seven England outings. A groin injury forced Guscott to retire from international rugby in 1999, although he scored two tries on his final appearance against Tonga at the World Cup.
5. Jonny May – 29 tries
Having pulled within one try of Guscott and two of the second-placed pairing of Greenwood and Cohen, it seems likely that 53-cap May – who scored six tries in last season’s championship – will pick off the men ahead of him during the Six Nations. Unlike some of the others on this list, May had to be patient early in his England career, waiting eight Tests to open his account, but he heads to Murrayfield on Saturday with five tries from his past five matches.
6. Jason Robinson – 28 tries
The man ousted from the top five by May, Robinson can still cling to having scored one of the most memorable tries in English rugby history, crossing for his side’s only touchdown as they won the 2003 World Cup final. Robinson retired in 2005 but returned to add six more tries to his tally in 2007, finishing with 28 from 51 caps.