ROYAL Wootton Bassett Rugby Club will be brimming with pride if former junior star Jonny May is handed his first Six Nations appearance this weekend.
Bassett vice-chairman Jim Brierley has revealed that the whole club is behind the Swindon-born three-quarter, who joined at the age of seven before leaving in his mid-teens and progressing up the ladder to Premiership rugby with Gloucester.
Stuart Lancaster’s 23-man squad for the Six Nations opener against France on Saturday was due to be announced this morning and ex-Ridgeway School pupil May has been hotly-tipped to earn a starting place against Les Bleus.
Players, officials and supporters alike are expected to pile into the Bassett clubhouse after the home game against Reading Abbey on Saturday to watch England - and potentially May - attempt to get their Six Nations campaign off to a flyer in the Stade de France (5pm).
And Brierley said: “It would be the icing on the cake in terms of what the club is trying to achieve with junior rugby. I think there will be a huge amount of pride if he steps out on to the pitch.
“We’ve got a home game on Saturday and after that I should think the clubhouse will be absolutely heaving with everyone watching and cheering him on.
“He’s such an unpredictable player and he always had amazing speed. You gave him the ball and away he went.
“If he gets a bit of space then he will score, so all things are possible.”
May won his first England cap in the 51-26 victory over Argentina in June last year and Brierley feels the 23-year-old’s international career is a tribute to the early training he received at Bassett.
“As far as the club’s concerned it’s another tremendous honour,” said Brierley.
“We’ve had club members who have represented their country at junior level but Jonny is the first one at senior level and that has been fantastic for us.
“He had a huge amount of talent as a youngster and was able to build on the core skills that the club instilled in him.”