Two local rugby players picked for the England Saxon’s elite player squad

Written by Tony Millett.

Jonny May from Ogbourne St George and Jamie Gibson from Minal, both aged twenty-one, have been named to join the England second squad, The Saxons.   England’s interim head coach, Stuart Lancaster named the Saxon’s thirty-two member elite player squad when he announced the new senior England squad for 2012.

The Saxons, or second team, used be called the England A team or the England B team – and at one time they even went upon the scoreboard as “Emerging England”.

Jonny (pictured top) plays full back or wing for Gloucester and has been in devastating form this season scoring seven tries. He is the son of local vet Peter May.

Jamie (pictured right) is an open side flanker for the London Irish and played four games for the Saxons last season scoring a try in the final of The Churchill Cup against Canada.

The two played together in the England Under-20 side at the 2010 Junior World Cup tournament in Argentina when the team reached the semi-finals.

Jonny was at The Ridgeway School and then Hartpury College. He played rugby at Wootton Bassett Rugby Club until going to Hartpury at sixteen where he was part of an all-conquering team and was selected to join the Gloucester Rugby Academy.

Jamie was at Marlborough College and is currently half way through a Classics degree at Oxford University. His introduction to Rugby came when he was seven and played with the Marlborough Minis.  Much later, while he was playing for Newbury Rugby Club, he was spotted by the London Irish Academy.

Looking ahead to the next World Cup, Lancaster said: "We are very excited by the make-up of the two [England] squads.  Lots of players have been putting their hands up and there were some tough calls to make. However, in line with the selection philosophy about starting new era for English rugby, we have taken the chance to make changes and give players opportunities to be part of the journey towards 2015.”

"We very much see this as a group of sixty-four [players], with opportunities for the Saxons playing in the forthcoming A internationals to come into the senior squad at any time."

The England Saxons face the O2 Ireland Wolfhounds at Sandy Park, Exeter on January 28 and then Scotland’s A team in Galashiels on February 3. The squad has an average age of twenty-four years and five months, with seven players under twenty-one.