Ex-England winger May joins French side Soyaux-Angouleme

football11 June 2024 17:20| © AFP
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Jonny May @ getty images

Former England winger Jonny May has signed a two-year deal with Soyaux-Angouleme, the French second-tier ProD2 club announced on Tuesday.

May, 34, played the last of his 78 tests during the 2023 Rugby World Cup and left Gloucester at the end of the season.

He is England's second-highest try-scorer on 36 efforts, behind Rory Underwood on 49 and also trails only Underwood as his country's most-capped winger.

"I don't think I've ever been more excited about signing a contract than this time," May said in a club statement.

"I'm 110 per cent committed to giving my best rugby to this team.

"More than that I really want to buy into the culture of the town and the club, make friends and memories, and make Angouleme a special place for me and my family," he added.

Next season, May will face fellow former England international in back-rower Courtney Lawes, who has signed for ambitious ProD2 side Brive from Northampton.

The pair highlight the financial problems of English rugby with other ex-internationals like Owen Farrell, Kyle Sinckler and Lewis Ludlam having also agreed to join clubs in France.

The three will join outfits in the first-division Top 14, the most lucrative league in world rugby.

Soyaux-Angouleme, located in western France between Bordeaux and La Rochelle, were promoted back to the second tier for 2022/2023 having previously spent five seasons in ProD2 until 2020/2021.