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London Welsh is delighted to confirm that Matt Corker and Tom May will continue in their roles as club captain and team captain respectively for the 2014/15 Aviva Premiership season.
Club captain Corker, who is preparing for his eighth season at London Welsh, missed five months of last year’s campaign with a heart condition (Atrial fibrillation), but returned to have a huge impact on the Club’s promotion push, including being named man of the match in the Exiles’ Championship final 1st leg win over Bristol.
May joined the Exiles in 2013 and as team captain played a leading role in the Club’s Championship success and its immediate return to the Premiership, scoring five tries in 25 league appearances.
Matt Corker said: “I’m hugely grateful to Justin, the rest of the coaches and the board for giving me the opportunity to be club captain again at such an exciting time in London Welsh’s history.
“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.
“Last season there was a really good dynamic between Tom and I. 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. We’re a team.
“To be back in the Premiership is a fantastic achievement by the Club, as well as for me personally. I really hope we can have a fantastic season and I think we’re in a great position to do that, and really push the Club forward.”
Tom May said: “After winning the final I allowed myself a couple of days to forget totally about rugby and went on holiday, but as much as I didn’t want to I was immediately thinking about next season.
“So when I came back and Justin asked me to be team captain again I was always going to jump at the chance, because I loved doing it last year. They’re a great bunch of lads and the new players we’ve signed so far just complement what we had from before.
“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.
“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.”
London Welsh head coach Justin Burnell said: “Tom and Matt were great to work with last season. They’re two of the most professional and honourable people I have ever met.
“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.
“In the Championship semi-finals and finals they both came into their own. They were born leaders for us.”
The 2014/15 Premiership season will see Sunday afternoons at the Kassam Stadium in Oxford (kick-off 2:30pm) become synonymous with London Welsh (unless on occasions when dictated otherwise by television), with the club having committed to playing its home games at the Kassam Stadium for the next three years.
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