Jonny May’s first appearance in a Gloucester shirt since 2017 lasted less than 20 minutes at Sixways on Saturday as the newly signed winger was forced off the field injured following his involvement in a red-carded tackle.

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The 30-year-old England international generated many headlines in April when he decided to rejoin Gloucester following three unfulfilled seasons at Leicester Tigers. 

However, his first run-out for Gloucester since a May 2017 Premiership appearance versus Exeter at Kingsholm was cut short less than a quarter of the way through his club’s resumption of their 2019/20 league campaign. 

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Former Worcester player Alex Grove guests on the latest episode of The Lockdown, the RugbyPass pandemic interview series

Selected ahead of Louis Rees-Zammit in the first XV of the new George Skivington era at Gloucester, May was left lying flat out on the artificial pitch at Worcester after he carried early in the first half.  

Tackled by two Worcester players in the 18th minute, he was left injured on the ground following the collision. With play stopped, Gloucester physios rushed to his aid while referee Christophe Ridley checked the incident with his TMO, Keith Lewis.

Replays suggested that the shoulder of Worcester full-back Melani Nanai, the 27-year-old Samoan who came to the Premiership via the Super Rugby Blues in the summer of 2019, collided with May’s head, resulting in the red card decision. 

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With Worcester reduced to 14 players, May briefly continued before he was removed from the field to undergo a head injury assessment. He then failed to return to the action, instead taking a seat in the empty stands at the closed doors Sixways which allowed Rees-Zammit to continue in his absence. 

Gloucester were trailing to a first-minute Ted Hill try at the time of May’s was caught by Nanai, but they managed to turn the scoreboard around in his absence to lead 15-8 at the interval following tries from Jack Singleton and Ollie Thorley.

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