Gloucester Rugby
Jonny May can still star for England, says Gloucester captain Billy Twelvetrees
PA Sport
May 2, 2015
Jonny May in action
Jonny May in action© David Rogers/Getty Images

Billy Twelvetrees has backed Jonny May to force his way back into England's central World Cup plans after the wing's virtuoso showing in Gloucester's Challenge Cup triumph.

May sent Twelvetrees over for Gloucester's only try at The Stoop as they survived Bill Meakes' late sending-off to claim their first trophy since 2011 on Friday night by beating Edinburgh 19-13.

The 25-year-old's lightning counter-attack almost yielded a second Gloucester score, but Edinburgh's Cornell Du Preez somehow produced a fingertip tap-tackle.

England centre Twelvetrees believes club-mate May can now fight his way back into Stuart Lancaster's Test line-up after losing his place to Exeter's Jack Nowell during the Six Nations.

"It's a massive boost for Jonny, rugby's all about confidence, seizing momentum and harnessing that to do well," said Twelvetrees. "He's really done that recently, and he's a quality player.

"He's proven his quality for England, he proved that with his try against the All Blacks in November, and he keeps proving his quality time and again for Gloucester.

"There are quality players throughout England and right through the England squad, but I'm sure he will get another chance to impress, and I've no doubt he'll take it.

"Jonny's a great talent and just a great player to have in your team. He can make something happen from nothing, just as he showed again on Friday. He's a quality player and to have him here is amazing."

Scotland skipper Greig Laidlaw's 14-point haul with the boot kept Gloucester in control against Edinburgh, his former club, in Friday's second-string European final - until a disciplinary meltdown in the final quarter.

Flanker Ross Moriarty was perhaps fortunate to escape a red card for kneeing the prone Fraser McKenzie in the back.

Just minutes later Gloucester centre Meakes was the unlucky one, harshly sent off for tackling Sam Beard high and without the ball.

Former Ulster boss David Humphreys will now lead Gloucester into the Champions Cup play-offs, with the first match scheduled for May 23.

Gloucester could yet face Edinburgh in that top-tier European qualification battle, with their opponents the side that finishes seventh in the Guinness PRO12.

The winner of that first tie will then face the side placed seventh in France's Top 14 on May 30.

Amid a disappointing Aviva Premiership campaign with Gloucester languishing ninth, former Leicester star Twelvetrees admitted the club's delight at reviving their European qualification hopes.

"It's huge for us to have the chance to fight for a Champions Cup place now," said Twelvetrees. "We're all looking forward to it.

"The boys have deserved this, we've got a couple more games to go in the season and it's important to try to carry this forward and maintain our form."

© PA Sport

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