Why England star May is leaving Leicester?
TRANSFER NEWS: Gloucester revealed that Jonny May will be rejoining the Club from July 1st.
A product of the Gloucester Rugby Academy, Jonny played 121 times for Gloucester before moving on to Leicester Tigers in 2017.
He is a key part of Eddie Jones’ England set up, and has already earned 53 caps for his country. He is rightly considered by many to be one of the best wingers in world rugby.
David Humphreys, Director of Rugby, was very pleased finally to be able to let everyone know about Jonny rejoining the Club.
“We’ve been talking to Jonny for a little while, and were very close to an agreement before the Premiership was postponed and our discussions had to be put on hold. With the changing landscape in English rugby and beyond, we very much appreciated Jonny’s pragmatic approach to our discussions.
“Our supporters will have watched his performances for England over the last couple of seasons, and will be looking forward to watching him back playing at Kingsholm for Gloucester Rugby. There’s no doubt he’s a world class player, who would be an asset to any side.
“He will not only, I’m sure, be a great player for us again, but also a great mentor to our young wingers like Ollie Thorley and Louis Rees-Zammit. It’ll be a tremendous help for them to have someone with Jonny’s experience to learn from.”
*Article continues below…
Jonny May was understandably excited about his move.
“Once I had made the decision to leave Leicester there was only ever one club I really wanted to play for. I’m grateful to David Humphreys and everyone at Gloucester Rugby who have found a way for me to rejoin. I’m very excited about being back in Cherry and White playing at Kingsholm again,” he said.
The England international scored 30 tries in 44 appearances for Leicester Tigers since his debut against Bath Rugby at Welford Road.
Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy thanked May for his contribution when speaking about the departure of the outside-back.
“We wish him all the best in his next chapter, and thank him for what he has given to the club during his three seasons in Leicester,” said Murphy.
“Assembling the playing squad is a huge challenge with a balance of the players brought in from elsewhere and the talent you bring through as a club. Unfortunately, the international game restricts the number of appearances players can make for their clubs in the modern game and, with the strain that inflating salaries under the salary cap has put on clubs, you need to find the right balance that best works for you across an entire season while still being able to build strength in depth across the squad.
“We have some outstanding players in our backline, but we lose a number of them during the international breaks, which provides its challenges in building continuity and development there.
“We are extremely confident in the playing group we are assembling for next season and believe we are adding even more world class talent to the existing world-class talent we have in the squad, as well as exciting youngsters at Tigers who have opportunities now to step up and take their chances.
“We have made no secret of wanting to change and needing to improve, with a focus this year on bolstering the forward pack to provide the platform for an exciting backline at its best.”
May added: “I’m proud of my time at Leicester Tigers. What an amazing experience to have played for such a great club. It really has developed my game and it’s brought the best out in me as a player. I gave 100% every time I put the shirt on and I have no regrets.
“For numerous reasons it hasn’t worked out for me to stay on at Leicester Tigers, which is a shame.
“It’s been a challenging few years but I have made some great mates and worked with some brilliant people.
“I leave knowing that with Geordie and Steve [Borthwick] coming in, along with a very talented group of players this club is starting a new chapter, one that I hope brings everyone at Leicester Tigers the success they deserve. I wish everyone at Leicester Tigers all the very best.
“I hope that everyone is staying safe and healthy in this tough period and also really hope that things start improving and I get the opportunity to play for Leicester Tigers, with my mates, a few more times before I leave.
“Thank you to everyone at Leicester Tigers, especially the fans, I’m sorry we haven’t given you what you have wanted the last few seasons but like I said, I’m very optimistic about the future for Leicester Tigers.