Leicester Tigers have suggested international rugby demands and a lack of money are the main reasons behind Jonny May leaving the club to return to Gloucester Rugby. The England international joined Tigers in the summer of 2017 from Gloucester Rugby and has scored 30 tries in 44 appearances for the club since his debut against Bath Rugby at Welford Road.

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Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy thanked May for his contribution when speaking about the departure of the outside-back. “We wish him all the best in his next chapter, and thank him for what he has given to the club during his three seasons in Leicester,” said Murphy.

“Assembling the playing squad is a huge challenge with a balance of the players brought in from elsewhere and the talent you bring through as a club. Unfortunately, the international game restricts the number of appearances players can make for their clubs in the modern game and, with the strain that inflating salaries under the salary cap has put on clubs, you need to find the right balance that best works for you across an entire season while still being able to build strength in depth across the squad.

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“We have some outstanding players in our backline, but we lose a number of them during the international breaks, which provides its challenges in building continuity and development there.

“We are extremely confident in the playing group we are assembling for next season and believe we are adding even more worldclass talent to the existing worldclass talent we have in the squad, as well as exciting youngsters at Tigers who have opportunities now to step up and take their chances.

“We have made no secret of wanting to change and needing to improve, with a focus this year on bolstering the forward pack to provide the platform for an exciting backline at its best.”

May added: “I’m proud of my time at Leicester Tigers. What an amazing experience to have played for such a great club. It really has developed my game and it’s brought the best out in me as a player. I gave 100% every time I put the shirt on and I have no regrets.

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“For numerous reasons it hasn’t worked out for me to stay on at Leicester Tigers, which is a shame

“It’s been a challenging few years but I have made some great mates and worked with some brilliant people.

“I leave knowing that with Geordie and Steve [Borthwick] coming in, along with a very talented group of players this club is starting a new chapter, one that I hope brings everyone at Leicester Tigers the success they deserve. I wish everyone at Leicester Tigers all the very best.

“I hope that everyone is staying safe and healthy in this tough period and also really hope that things start improving and I get the opportunity to play for Leicester Tigers, with my mates, a few more times before I leave.

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“Thank you to everyone at Leicester Tigers, especially the fans, I’m sorry we haven’t given you what you have wanted the last few season but like I said, I’m very optimistic about the future for Leicester Tigers.”

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