George Ford was forced to evict Jonny May in his role as landlord but his relationship with his former housemate on the pitch goes from strength to strength.
Ford believes May is ready to translate his scorching club form for Leicester on to the international stage when England face Australia at Twickenham on Saturday after he missed the autumn opener against Argentina because of a hamstring strain.
May has been an instant hit at the Tigers, running in 10 tries since leaving Gloucester during the summer, but his brief spell living with Ford proved less than successful after he spilt sauce on the fly-half’s suede rug.
“Living with Jonny was hard work because he’s such high maintenance,” said Ford, whose vision has helped create the chances for May at Welford Road.
“He’s such a nice guy but I had to kick him out after three weeks. We couldn’t live together any more otherwise our friendship would have deteriorated.
“You can usually tell when he’s trying to wind people up and spoil people’s rugs. He bought me a new one and I made sure he bought the same kind of rug.
“He’s very good at manipulating situations. If you spend all day with him at training when you come home you just want to relax and chill out but he’s just non-stop.
“He used to come home, go straight into the lounge and lie on the sofa as if he it was his, get the TV remote and that would annoy me straight away.
“He’d just treat it like it was his house which I don’t mind because he’s a mate but sometimes he would just take it a step too far.
“He feels like he’s learned a fair bit at Leicester and I think you can see that in the way he’s been playing.
“It’s not by chance he’s been scoring tries nearly every week — he’s in the right place at the right time and he works incredibly hard at being professional and getting quicker.
“Hopefully now that he’s had that run of games he can transfer that into an England shirt.”
May has been included in a 25-man squad retained for Australia and is likely to be drafted straight into the starting XV having overcome the strained hamstring incurred in training two weeks ago.
“I like to think I’ve been Jonny’s counsellor and carer recently. He’s loving that,” Ford said
“Johnny is pretty stressed with his injury so I’ve tried to help him out a little bit. He’s back to his normal self now and can’t wait to get back out there.
“I don’t think he knows what he’s doing half the time, but he’s an athlete and so quick, so strong and he knows where the tryline is.
“You can’t too much of that away from him because it makes him the player he is.”