England winger Jonny May has opened up about his “tough” years with Leicester Tigers and dreams of becoming a British and Irish Lion.
“I think it’s more a case of why did I leave Gloucester in the first place really,” May exclusively told Sky Sports Rugby about his decision to return to Gloucester.
“Gloucester is my home team, I am a loyal guy, I don’t like change particularly, I’m a creature of habit and like my routine and all those things.
“But back to the 2017 Six Nations, I’d just lost my spot, Eddie (Jones, England head coach) had kept me for a couple of weeks to sing the after-match song.
“All the other guys went on the Lions tour [2017, vs New Zealand] and I wasn’t there, and I was 27. I wasn’t happy and knew I could be a better player and probably was underachieving.
“Going to Leicester, it wasn’t the challenge I was expecting but it was the challenge I needed in terms of improving my game, stepping outside of my comfort zone and playing with George (Ford), (Ellis) Genge, Manu (Tuilagi), Lenny (Ben Youngs), under different coaches and really put myself under pressure.
“And it has shown – I think I’ve definitely improved over the last few years, and with regards to returning to Gloucester, again it was a tough decision.
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“I’ll be honest, my heart has always been with Gloucester, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t play 100 per cent for Leicester every week, I did. I gave 100 per cent in training every day, 100 per cent at the weekend, I helped the team out as much as I could, tried to be the best I could, but it didn’t quite feel like home.
“It was a decision to make. Stay at Leicester where Steve (Borthwick) was coming in at, I know he”ll be brilliant and will get the club back to where it belongs and where it expects to be, or come back to Gloucester and see out my days there.
“It came down to which contract and which place gives me the most energy and makes me feel good,
“To be honest, it was a tough few years at Leicester, it wasn’t what I was expecting. I feel like I probably had that challenge that I wanted and now I’m really grateful to be back at Gloucester and playing for the team I want to play at.”
JOIN THE RUCK:
7 things you didn’t know about Jonny May
1. 100m speed
The speedster clocked 10.71 for the 100 metres with a strong argument to be England’s quickest wide man ever.
2. Partner in crime
He is often cheered on by his stunning wife Sophie Snook, whom he married in July 2017.
Sophie shares her husband’s love of keeping fit and staying active and has built a successful career as a personal trainer under the brand @Girlsontopoffitness.
The company’s Instagram page features helpful workout tips and inspiring transformation photos of delighted clients.
3. Strange rumour
May had to respond to the rather strange rumour that he used to think he was possessed by a chicken.
The story emerged after Danny Care said: “Jonny is — in the nicest possible way — very strange. A few years back, he used to think he was possessed by a chicken!
He used to go around clucking and thought this chicken demon was inside him. I don’t know whether it was an act or true — with Jonny you just never know.”
The England speedster has since gone onto respond to the story.
“It’s a bit silly isn’t it? I don’t think at any stage that has happened,” revealed May to the Guardian, blushing ever so slightly.