Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

May Having Fun Playing His Rugby in the Sun

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

May Having Fun Playing His Rugby in the Sun

Article excerpt

DESPITE swapping Tyneside for the Cote d'Azur, Tom May has spent more time traveling round the Toulon backline already this season, writes NICK PUREWAL. Relishing his Top 14 adventure, former Falcons favourite May has divided his playing duties equally between centre and wing under head coach Phillipe Saint-Andre.

After realising the lifelong England cap dream in the summer, May is desperate to get back into Martin Johnson's full squad - and believes he can cement club and country future in the No 12 shirt.

Settling into southern French life, May said he hopes to settle into a centre berth in the coming weeks.

"I've played a couple of games in the centre and a couple of times on the wing too," he said, "but I'm enjoying my rugby much more at centre to be honest.

"I hadn't played wing for about eight months and then I made my debut there, so that was quite tough getting back into the swing of it.

"My time here already has made me realise I want to be playing centre regularly, so hopefully Phillipe will see things similarly as things progress.

"It was fantastic to get my first two caps in the summer and if I can get a run of games together in the centres then I see no reason why I can't get back into the wider squad and see how things go from there.

"There were times when I thought the chance had come and gone, but then to get my first cap at 30 has made me think anything's possible from here onwards.

"Having Tana Umaga as backs coach to learn from is brilliant for me, and I'm taking every opportunity I can to do extra sessions with him and just pick up as much information as possible.

"I haven't played fly-half yet, I can't think why! But I think when I play 12 Jonny's quite happy to have me there because we know each other so well, and I'm also happy to step in at first-receiver, if needed.

"It was a bit strange at first for me and Jonny playing together in the sunshine in the south of France, but it's going well and we're both enjoying it. …

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