Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Corker and May to continue in roles

Tom May, pictured, will continue as London Welsh's team captain for the forthcoming season

Matt Corker and Tom May will continue their dual captaincy at London Welsh for the forthcoming season.

Club captain Corker missed five months of last term suffering an irregular heartbeat, but returned to spearhead Welsh's successful Premiership promotion drive.

Former Toulon and Newcastle centre May will continue as team captain in Welsh's Aviva Premiership return, with The Exiles having secured 22 recruits this summer.

Corker won the man of the match award in the first leg of Welsh's successful play-off final against Bristol and is relishing preparations for his eighth season at the club.

"For the club to be back in the Premiership and for me to have the honour of being club captain is something I'm really grateful for and very proud of," said Corker.

"Last season there was a really good dynamic between Tom and me.

"I perhaps did more of the off-field stuff, and Tom brings his wealth of experience to the on-field, but I'd like to think we blur the lines a little bit."

May joined London Welsh from Northampton in 2013, helping the side return to the Premiership at the first time of asking.

The 35-year-old admitted he cannot wait to lead out The Exiles on their Premiership return - on what will most likely be his swansong season.

"I'm probably looking at finishing this year so to be asked to be captain allows me to really enjoy this last year, put everything in to it and get the most out of it," said May.

"When Justin Burnell (head coach) asked me to be team captain again I was always going to jump at the chance, because I loved doing it last year.

"To lead the team out in the Premiership at places where I've played so much of my rugby will be amazing.

"I like to try and take responsibility and set my own standards, and having the added responsibility of captaincy drives you on. And that's on and off the pitch.

"Matt's obviously been at the club for ages, he understands what London Welsh is all about and it worked well last year. It's good to have someone like that around that you can bounce ideas off."

Welsh have recruited New Zealand's World Cup-winning scrum-half Piri Weepu and former England playmaker Olly Barkley in a hectic summer of transfers.

Despite the new arrivals head coach Burnell still expects Corker and May to set the Old Deer Park standard.

"Tom and Matt were great to work with last season; they're two of the most professional and honourable people I have ever met," said Burnell.

"Matt has London Welsh running through his veins and Tom is an absolute role model both on and off the field.

"He led from the front last season, was a fantastic ambassador for the club and a pleasure to work with."

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