First Test: Jonny May says England should not be written off in New Zealand
Last Updated: 03/06/14 6:29pm
England wing Jonny May insists the tourists should not be written off as they prepare for the first Test against New Zealand in Auckland on Saturday.
Stuart Lancaster’s side are massive underdogs for the three-match series and they will enter the opening contest without key players from Aviva Premiership finalists Northampton and Saracens and with several key men injured.
The All Blacks, meanwhile, are chasing a 15th successive victory, have won every match at Eden Park since 1994 and have lost just once since lifting the World Cup in 2011.
However, May said: "We have got nothing to lose, but at the same time we have great players in our team.
"We are going forward as a team at the moment. We are not a rubbish team, we have good principles, we have good structures and everyone is buying into that.
"We are a tough outfit to play against for anyone, irrelevant of the new players that have come in because of the culture we have created as a team and the way we play. It is easy for players to jump in to it.
"We are underdogs for this game. People have written us off in a way, but that's not an excuse.
"We put pressure on ourselves as a group, we want a performance and we will go out there and give it everything."
May has yet to score a try for England but the Gloucester star is hoping to make his mark in New Zealand.
"During the Six Nations I learnt that Test rugby is a big mental jump – the pressure, accuracy and intensity are higher, but I thought I came out of it a better player," he said.
"We weren't great at Gloucester at the end of the season but I went away and worked on things and I feel more confident in myself.
"In the Six Nations I noticed a couple of times that I could have backed myself a little bit more on the outside.
"I think that's a confidence thing, being involved in that for the first time. I have gone back to club level and worked on that."
"It was frustrating coming off the pitch thinking I could have gone for it then. It just wasn't quite there but I've learnt from it and I want to put it right."