Manu Tuilagi and Jonny May both described Saturday’s Six Nations away win over Ireland as one of the best in their international careers.
The Tigers duo were standouts for England in the bonus-point win, with May scoring the first try of the match within two minutes of the game getting underway.
"We knew exactly how we wanted to play and we executed it perfectly.”Jonny May
In what was Tuilagi’s first Six Nations start in almost five years, the Tigers centre was at his rampaging best causing havoc for Irish opponents in both attack and defence.
“It’s massive, it’s right up there,” Tuilagi told EnglandRugby.com
“It’s the first game, Ireland are the best team in Europe and second in the world.
“It's probably tougher than that win against New Zealand [in 2012] because you don't have many teams that come to Ireland and win.”
Tuilagi’s club mate echoed his views.
"That’s the best England performance I’ve been involved in, I'm just pleased to play my role and pleased for the boys,” said May.
"It's a great feeling to come over here and get a win.
Great way to start the @SixNationsRugby 🚀 Huge team effort and performance today 🏴 🌹 @EnglandRugby #wegoagain pic.twitter.com/9AIGcr8hsr— Jonny May (@J0nnyMay) February 3, 2019
"We had a lot of defending to do but credit to the boys as we put in a big shift over the last couple of weeks in camp.
"We knew exactly how we wanted to play and we executed it perfectly.”
England host France at Twickenham in round two and, after Wales came from behind to defeat them on the opening weekend, Tuilagi is aware of the threat they possess.
“It gives us a bit of momentum going into next week and we know France is going to be tough so we have to prepare for that," said Tuilagi.
Looking ahead, May believes there’s still plenty of work to be done but is pleased with the early signs shown by the England squad.
"We need to keep working hard and getting better, but this group is maturing and we’re learning how to win tight matches,” May said.
"This [Ireland] is a tough place to come and it looks like we’re learning and improving.”
Round 2 kicks off on Saturday afternoon when Scotland host Ireland at Murrafield (2.15pm) before Italy take on Wales at Stadio Olimpico later in the day at 4.45pm, with England welcoming France to Twickenham on Sunday (February 10) in the final fixture of the weekend.
Members and partners of Tigers can watch England home games with our exclusive hospitality at Kneller Hall next to Twickenham Stadium. Contact the sales team at Tigers for more details.