Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
RUGBY UNION: Exiles captain May just can't wait to get going
London Welsh captain Tom May says the players are desperate for their season to start.
The Exiles play Bedford Blues in their Greene King IPA Championship opener at Allianz Park in Barnet today, having been training since June.
And 34-year-old May, who was made skipper after joining from Northampton Saints, is relishing the challenging of a new league after spending most of his career in the Premiership.
“Pre-season seems to get longer as you get older,” said May. “I think the players are just desperate to get going and into the term-time routine that comes with playing matches.
“We are confident in our abilities and the players we have got in the squad. “But we are going to have to work our socks off. That’s something that we have emphasised a lot.”
Should Welsh win the play-off final and return to the Premiership, they will be playing for almost nine months.
“It is a very attritional league and the final is not until June,” said May. “In length, it compares with the French league, but they have a lot more breaks than we do.
“It is a really long season and you can have a lot of injuries. “You need that strength in depth to be competitive.”
May and his fellow captains got to see the Championship trophy at the league’s official launch last week.
Lifting it would be a great addition to the former England international’s CV, but he is keeping his feet on the ground.
May said: “Lifting the trophy is what every team sets out to do, but you can’t get too far ahead of yourselves.
“I have just had one of the brochures with the squad lists in and there are some really good players and sides in this league.
“It is not going to be as easy as it has been in years gone by. “There are going to be tough games week-in week-out.
“Our aim is to get back into the Premiership, but there are are alot of teams thinking that.”
May said he moved to the Exiles because he didn’t just want to be a Premiership squad player.
“I had a couple of offers to stay in the Premiership, one of which was very good. “But I want to be at a club I can contribute for.
“I am coming towards the end of my career. “I started playing rugby because I enjoy it. I don’t start because I love going to the gym.”
On being made captain, May added: “When they asked I was honoured. It wasn’t something I had to think about. “There are certain pressures that come with the role, but I am excited about it.”
And May’s versatility may come in handy should injuries kick in. “I will play wherever Justin Burnell needs me,” he said.
“Centre is my favourite position, but I have played wing, full back and fly half, so I am happy to move around.”
Comments are closed on this article.