‘Nobody judges them’: Jonny May insists England players hold no grudge with Saracens stars over salary cap scandal after revealing meeting between squad to address the ‘elephant in the room’
- Jonny May says England’s Saracens stars have the full support of the squad
- May is confident Saracens and their biggest names will soon bounce back
- The 29-year-old insists England are excited to ‘push on’ at Six Nations
England’s players buried the hatchet of the Saracens salary cap scandal during a 30-minute player-led meeting in Portugal yesterday.
Seven Saracens players are in Vilamoura and two of them — Mako Vunipola and Maro Itoje — were named in a report this week outlining how the club broke the rules.
Jonny May insists England players have no issue with Saracens stars over salary cap scandal
May revealed the squad held a group meeting to clear the air and address any issues
May says England’s Saracens players were ‘very honest’ as were other members of the squad
The dust is still settling on that but winger Jonny May insisted there are no grudges.
‘The tone of the meeting was, ‘There is obviously an elephant in the room, let’s just have a quick chat about it’,’ said May. ‘From what I have seen, all the players are fine.
‘They are going through a tough time but nobody needs to be worried. Saracens are going to get a plan in place. I am sure they will turn it into a positive no matter what happens.
‘We reinforced to them that they have got our support, nobody thinks badly of them and nobody judges them. They want to be open with us and we want to be open with them.
‘It is worth talking about, but it really is not an issue from my perspective. We are here so it is worth addressing because what’s gone on is quite disruptive. It is big, isn’t it? It’s huge.
The 29-year-old says England are excited to ‘kick on’ as a team at the upcoming Six Nations
‘I guess if you were involved in it you’d be thinking, ‘God, what do these guys think of me?’ That’s never the case. It is always worse in your head than it actually is in reality.
‘We said, ‘You know what guys, this is not a big deal for us. You are great players and we are really pleased to have you here, anything you need from us, you are team-mates and we will support you’.’
Players met in the dining room of their Browns Sport Resort base before lunch. Owen Farrell and Itoje addressed the squad, with flanker Tom Curry claiming nothing was off limits.
England players will be working closely with incoming attack coach Simon Amor this week
‘The Saracens lads were very honest,’ said Curry. ‘Other lads were very honest, too, but it is not really a thing for us to worry about — especially here with England. Once you’re here, it’s England and all that club stuff is left behind. Whether that is the salary cap stuff, moves, your form. It all gets pushed aside and everyone is excited to be here and push on.’
The squad had their first training session yesterday and have been getting to grips with new coaches Matt Proudfoot and Simon Amor.
Proudfoot has joined from World Cup winners South Africa and claimed he was impressed by the spirit among the players.
‘I’m new to the camp, but from a coaching perspective the interaction between the players has been really good,’ said Proudfoot.
‘The players have had a chat but it was players only. Seeing the different players sitting around the table having some banter, I took that as being very positive.’
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