RUGBY UNION: May retains Welsh focus despite his England links

8:00am Saturday 8th March 2014

By Ed Mezzetti

FORMER England international Tom May has more reason than most to look forward to tomorrow afternoon’s Six Nations action at Twickenham.

But London Welsh’s captain insists he and his side are fully focused on their Greene King IPA Championship clash with Moseley kicking off three hours beforehand.

Welsh take on Moseley at Old Deer Park in Richmond and at the earlier time of 12noon as part of a hospitality day surrounding the England versus Wales Six Nations match.

May, who won two caps in 2009, retains strong links with the England squad, but says his priority is victory over the seventh-placed Midlanders.

“I am playing for a Welsh exiles team, but I will definitely be supporting England come the international at 3pm,” said May,.

“I have got some friends playing, especially from my last couple of years at Northampton.

“I have started to work with a management company called Activate that looks after Luther Burrell and Lee Dickson.

“It will be a real test for Luther to come up against a big side like Wales, but I am sure he will be able to cope with it.”

With the Exiles’ international heritage and being coached by a proud Welshman in Justin Burnell, England fans can expect plenty of stick tomorrow.

But within the squad, it has been business as usual.

“The banter has not been too bad,” said May.

“Justin has mentioned the game a couple of times, but the lads are really focused on what we are doing.

“No doubt afterwards, should we have got the right result against Moseley, there will be some banter among the players.

“Our focus is on what we have to do and then we can relax and enjoy the international afterwards.”

Although a noon kick-off is fairly unusual in rugby, May does not expect it to pose the players any problems in preparing properly.

“It just means that we have got to get up a bit earlier,” he said. “I will probably be up around 6am.

“We can’t afford to be taking our time getting into games.

“We need to start with a bang. If that means we’ve got to be up earlier, then so be it.”

While Welsh are targting promotion, Moseley are firmly mid-table.

However, May said: “I think the teams that don’t have so much to play for can become the most dangerous ones because there is less riding on their games.

“It means that they will just gamble at times as there is less pressure on them.”

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