England star says Springboks ‘don’t respect us’ as TV interview reveals tensions

Welshman Aled Walters, who had been a coach with South Africa before moving to England, was a key part of the preparations before the game

Winger Johnny May claimed that South Africa had disregarded England as a real danger, which led to England’s valiant attempt against the world champions. While he has nothing but respect for South Africa, he claimed in a post-match interview that they don’t feel the same way about England.

The 33-year-old, who made his debut against New Zealand in November 2014, was speaking just after the Springboks defeated his team 16-15 in the Rugby World Cup semifinal. After losing in the 2019 tournament final, he claimed that remarks made by South African coach Rassie Erasmus in the film Chasing The Sun “added fuel to the fire.”

The documentary team had complete access to the Springboks, their practices, and the individuals who make up the team. It included many of Erasmus’ pregame team meetings, including the one before England’s defeat in the final in Japan.

When describing how difficult it was to play against Wales to his team, Erasmus made one disparaging remark about England. They (Wales) are not softies, he declared. They don’t resemble Ireland. They don’t disappear as England does. They’re strong as f*****.

If the 2019 final had been on England’s minds, May responded, “Not particularly,” to a question from Sky Sports. Sincerely, I don’t believe the South Africans regard us. The coach has publicly criticized some of us in documentaries, which likely only fuels the fire.

Whether a team or coach respects what you do is immaterial to me; I give every game my all. We can only work toward getting better, in my opinion. All we need to do is work hard and get better. It appeared as though the game against this team in the fall got away from us because they defeated us easily.

He responded, “I am not that type of man to get worked up by a team that has beat us here and there,’ when asked if the team had “harnessed” some of the remarks made against England in the past. I do my best to get each game ready. Undoubtedly, some boys did use that.

Additionally, he attested to the remarks that head coach Steve Borthwick had up in the locker room prior to the match.

May stated: “We touched on their documentary and we have got staff who were with them so they gave us insight into what they were thinking and how they feel about us.”

Welshman Aled Walters served as South Africa’s fitness coach and was instrumental in the Springboks’ training and World Cup preparations. He is currently playing for England and is reportedly having a significant impact on the group.

Asked about earning their respect in the semi-final game that they so nearly won, May added: “I don’t know and I don’t care. I have respect for those guys and what they do. Credit to them and we wish them all the very best. It is none of my business what other people think of me.

“Playing for England has been everything for me. I am grateful to be part of it.”

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button