After spending most of 2016 watching from afar, Gloucester and England winger Jonny May has unfinished business. The Swindon-born flyer returned from injury with a bang and, in what could be a big year for him personally, is feeling 'as good as new'...
Yet just under a year later and May was back in action, and raring to go. Having made a try-scoring return from injury for Gloucester back in October in a 47-27 European Challenge Cup win at Bayonne, the winger backed that up with another score a week later in his first game back at Kingsholm against Treviso.
“I obviously wasn’t in the best form or shape of my life coming into camp, but I found a way to get through it and perform, and I felt all the better for it after a five-week intense burst. I feel as good as new now and am ready to push on.”
With ex-head coach Stuart Lancaster having paid the price for England’s early World Cup exit, returning to the international fold also offered May the opportunity to get to know his Australian successor. “Eddie Jones was awesome”, May said, excitedly. “He was really positive with me and gave me great confidence. The training was really hard but I needed that and it got me ready to play Test rugby pretty quickly, so it was a good experience.” Listening to May speak, it is clear he has enjoyed his experience of working with Jones for the first time, so did he notice much change from the previous regime?
Having enjoyed some good form in May’s absence through November, Gloucester are now looking up the Aviva Premiership table after a slow start to the campaign. The winger is keen to help maintain that positivity on his return to club duty. “As a team we just want to keep building,” he said. “We’re playing some good rugby and it’s obviously a bit of a challenge coming into a team when you have been out for so long but I’ll train as hard as I can and get stuck in and just rebuild those little relationships that you need, to bring out the best in one another.”
“Going with the Lions would be an amazing experience, but there is a great deal of rugby to be played before then and my main focus is Gloucester and helping contribute to the team,” he said. “Scoring tries is obviously an important part of being a winger. It makes you feel confident, it makes you feel good about the way you’re playing and I’ve been pleased to be able to score so many, so soon. I’m given those opportunities or if I need to find opportunities to score, then that’s what I want to be doing. I just want to get better every week, keep working hard and improving. I’ve had a tough year I’ve worked so hard just to get back fit, I feel that my injury is definitely behind me now and I know my best days are ahead of me.”