Name: Tom May
Do you think you chose rugby or did it chose you ? and how?
I started playing because I grew up watching my dad play for his local club side. I loved the game and didn’t look back. The game wasn’t professional until 1995 so I was fortunate that it turned pro just before I left school.
I like the controlled aggression within the sport and I was better at rugby than I was at many other sports. Probably down to the amount of time I spent with my dad throwing and kicking a ball around.
Rugby is a tough sport, What do you believe is the toughest part of all? And can it be dealt with ?
There are so many aspects to the game which require you to tough it out. Clearly there are huge physical demands and now that I am 36 and having played the game for 17 years as a professional, it’s an area now that is an issue for me. I think one area that is underestimated is the mental demands and pressures players must face during their career and as they come towards the end of it. Scary stuff.
What makes a good rugby player?
I guess the best rugby players are the ones with the most skill, understanding, physical stature and speed. There aren’t many with all of that together though. I based my career on being a hard working player who had enough of a competitive nature to last all these years.
For those that want to be an international or professional rugby player, what advice do you have?
I think everyone that manages to play professionally is incredibly lucky, there will be so many that don’t get that opportunity. My advice to everyone who plays, no matter what the level, is to enjoy it. Seems cliche but if you don’t enjoy it then what’s the point.
Most may think rugby players just sit in shorts and t-shirts.. how does fashion come into your life?
When I was younger I was pretty happy in tracksuits and hoody as it was the most comfortable thing I could find after training. I like to wear a decent pair of trousers or jeans now with a shirt and I love shoes and trainers so I am pretty much in them now.
What are you wardrobe essentials?
Essentials must be a nice pair of jeans, a fitted white shirt ( maybe a black one too) and a great pair of shoes to go with it all.
Describe your style in a few words
Not sure the way I describe it would be the same as others see it. I would say fairly standard but others might say it was random.
What are the brands you tend to always wear from your sports gear to everyday ?
Its been amazing to have been able to wear some free kit and footwear from some great sports brands during my career. I know I have a love for Nike training gear which I will continue to wear when I finish playing. I also know that Ted Baker trousers fit perfectly and Seven for all Mankind Jeans. Reiss shirts are brilliant too.
Do you find it difficult finding clothes that suit your body? As I have been told its hard when having a built body something to fit.
This is a massive issue. I have a big backside and big legs but they aren’t the longest. Until I found Seven Jeans, I had a real problem finding decent ones. Fitted shirts always look tight if I get it wrong too. I might drop down from 98kg when I finish so this might get a bit easier.
Do you think the fashion or clothes for men today are changing for the better?
Clothes are changing all the time I think but it’ all pretty much something I just have to stick with as there is not much I can get away with in trying to be too cool!
I see that you do a lot with getting involved with the youth and the community, from camps to empowerment. How did this all start?
I am working in grassroots rugby, sports management. I hope to openn a new gym franchise soon, I do some work with the media, I am coaching and I am develping some presentations which I am going to take to corporates which explain the similarities and differences between sport and business. Interesting enough but I am so busy all the time. All of these have developed as ideas from playing rugby so I am lucky to have been involved in the sport for so long.
What do you hope to be doing in 5 years from now?
I hope to be running a successful business in www.everything4rugby.com and be able to combine all of the many other interesets at the same time. Many of those business interestes revolve around sport and I am working as rugby agent now. Whatever the next 5 years holds, I won’t be in the office as that terrifies me!
A little interview on Saint TV of Tom May !