Beppu - England wing Jonny May credits a night away from the beer for fizzing up his international career, as he prepares to win his 50th cap in Saturday's Rugby World Cup quarter-finals.

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The 29-year-old flyer made his England debut in unusual circumstances on a tour of Argentina six years ago, as he revealed to reporters on Wednesday.

May was initially overlooked for selection as then England coach Stuart Lancaster picked Christian Wade and David Strettle on his wings for the opening encounter of a two-Test series.

"So my mum and dad came out, and I wasn't picked for the first game," said May.

Fortunately for May, Wade was called up for the British and Irish Lions, who were touring Australia, leaving a spot open in the England side.

"Basically because my mum and dad were out, I went out for dinner with them the night before and all the other non-(matchday) 23 players went out on the piss (got drunk), so I got the 'go on you can play' pretty much!" said May.

"It's funny how it works out. I ended up starting that game and then what was probably quite a challenging couple of weeks finished on a real good note as my parents got to watch me play and I got my first cap. It all worked out in the end."

Just as strikers in football are judged, sometimes unfairly, mainly on the number of goals they score so it is with rugby wing and their tries.

May failed to score in his first seven Tests before ending that frustrating run in style with a superb effort in an agonising 24-21 loss to world champions New Zealand at Twickenham in 2014.

In and out of the side on form grounds early in his England career, May's progress was also hampered by a severe knee injury.

But he heads into this weekend's knockout clash with an excellent record of 25 tries in 49 Tests.

"If you take a step back, you'd say it's an awesome achievement, something I'm very proud of and hopefully I've made my family proud," May said.

"Every time I've played for England it's been an honour. To do it 50 times is a great achievement."

May, however, was adamant that now was not the occasion for reflection.

"It's no time to take a step back at the moment, it's a huge team game at the weekend.

"I'll just be focusing on how I can contribute to that team performance as best I can and prepare and play no different to how I do every week."