May emerges from "dark place"
August 1, 2012
Jonny May is embracing the chance to write a more positive chapter in Gloucester's recent history © Getty Images
Revitalised Gloucester speedster Jonny May is determined to kick start a new era for the recently troubled club with victory in Friday night's J.P. Morgan 7s finale.
The Cherry and Whites endured a nightmare end to last season with the ugly departure of former boss Bryan Redpath and a woeful run of form in the Premiership blighting a campaign that had promised much. But May is confident that his side can build on their impressive showing in their qualification pool and put a smile back on their fans' faces.
"This is the start of a new era," the 22-year-old told ESPN. "We've got a new head coach, new assistant coaches, some old players have moved on and some new ones have come in. It is a really refreshing environment and really positive around the club at the moment and we are looking to go out and show that this Gloucester is a new team. We're wiping the slate clean."
May took Gloucester's recent woes to heart but has since emerged from "a dark place" thanks largely to a late call-up to the England squad for their recent tour to South Africa where he dazzled in a cameo for the mid-week side.
"After the last few months of the season with Gloucester I was really down in the dumps," he added. "At the end of the season I was just training really hard and minding my own business and then I got the call up. It lifted my spirits a lot and gave me confidence and brought me out of that dark place.
"It gave me something new to work towards and I was really happy to get the call up first and then to get the opportunity to get on. It went really well and I was very pleased and it allowed me to close a chapter and start a new one all in one go."
May has also hailed the arrival of new director of rugby Nigel Davies as a breath of fresh air and backed his approach to reap rich rewards. "He's come in and been quite adamant that we are going to play an open running game which is towards our strengths," May explained. He is really laid back and not so stressed. There is less pressure on the players and it suits us really as that is the last thing we need. He expects us to take responsibility but it's a nice environment. We're working hard and playing hard and it's really chilled."
A new-look support staff includes defence specialist Paul Moriarty while veteran centre Mike Tindall has taken on a player-coach role. "Tins is doing more of the same," said May. "He's joining in with all our sessions and doing a bit more speaking than he has done in the past. He will be in charge of all our strike moves and our backs defence. Paul Moriarty has been really good too, he's had us smashing each other about and has been really excited about that."
The future would appear to be bright for May and if he is to be believed then Gloucester as well but he is not getting carried away. "Even when you are playing well you are only as good as your next game" he stressed. "We've got a training session on Wednesday and will work on a couple of things, but more of the good stuff to come on Friday.
"But it's about forgetting what has been done and moving on to the next challenge. We are just concentrating on ourselves and playing lots of rugby. We are working hard together building up from the bottom, with a new brand of rugby and a new attitude."
To book tickets for the J.P. Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s Series Final on Friday, 3 August at The Recreation Ground, Bath, call 0844 448 1865 or visit www.bathrugby.com/tickets
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Ireland's Joe Schmidt. He chats to Tom Hamilton
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton