FORMER player Jonny May’s rise to international rugby can inspire the next generation of Royal Wootton Bassett youngsters, according to vice president Jim Brierley.
Gloucester back May made his Six Nations debut for England against France on Saturday and, although his night was ended prematurely by a broken nose, a packed clubhouse at Bassett’s Ballards Ash home was proud of their product.
May came through the Bassett junior set-up before moving on to make the grade at Kingsholm and Brierley is now hopeful some of the club’s 300-plus young players may be inspired to do the same.
“There was a good number of youngsters at the club on Saturday watching the game so we will take all the positives from that and hope it inspired people,” he said.
“Jonny has shown the unachievable can be achieved and that has to be great for our youngsters to see.
“We probably have in excess of 300 youngsters playing from colts all the way down to under sixes so things are going well.
“The standard of coaching at the club is significantly better now than it was when Jonny was there because we have more coaches with qualifications and good facilities. It’s all very positive for us.”
Brierley admitted everyone watching the game at Ballards Ash was disappointed to see May trudge off the field after suffering the injury but hopes the England management stick with the back.
“Obviously we were all very disappointed for him and I’m sure he was pretty heartbroken himself because that isn’t what any of us wanted for him,” he said.
“I didn’t see what happened to him but I saw the pictures of him sat in the stands with his face all covered up with bandages so I think someone must of whacked him or he collided or something like that.
“He’s a young guy and has time on his side so hopefully things aren’t too serious and he can play in the next game. If they picked him for the first game then they obviously rate him and hopefully they can stick with Jonny.”