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Soyaux-Angouleme confirm the signing of ex-England winger Jonny May

By Liam Heagney
Former England winger Jonny May will play in Pro D2 next season (Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images)

Jonny May will face his old England teammate Courtney Lawes in next season’s French Pro D2 after he was confirmed on Tuesday evening as a new signing by Soyaux-Angouleme on a two-year deal. The out-of-contract Gloucester winger was originally touted for a second-tier switch across the Channel on June 1 when Fissler Confidential, the weekly RugbyPass transfers column, reported that he was on the club’s recruitment list.


At the time, the club’s budget was said to be only €5,000 (£4,200) a month for May and that he would potentially hold out for a move instead to Major League Rugby in America after he was told earlier this year that his Gallagher Premiership contract wasn’t being renewed at Kingsholm.

However, the 12th place Pro D2 club have managed to pull off a recruitment coup by persuading the 34-year-old May, the second highest England try-scorer of all time who retired from international rugby at the end of Rugby World Cup 2023, that his future is best served in France and not the USA.

It was Tuesday morning when the French outfit teased that a deal had been done, posting on X: “Men lie, but numbers don’t! 13, 36, 47, 78.”

These numbers – 13, 36, 47 and 78 – all corresponded to figures in May’s stellar career. Thirteen was his number of Rugby World Cup caps, 36 the number of tries he scored for England, 47 the amount of European matches he played, and 78 reflected his tally of Test selections. The social media post added that an announcement was due at 6pm French time and it duly arrived.


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