Wasps winger ready for international step-up

Christian Wade

Christian Wade

First published in Sport by

EXACTLY why isn’t Christian Wade in the full England set-up yet?

It’s a question Wasps fans have been asking in increasing numbers this season but as yet England coach Stuart Lancaster is resisting the urge to give the dazzling winger a chance.

Instead, against South Africa last weekend he opted for Chris Ashton – who hasn’t scored in 11 Tests – and Mike Brown – who has never scored for his country.

By contrast, Wade has crossed the whitewash seven times in 11 club games this season, a record bettered only by club team-mate Tom Varndell.

The pair are first and second in the Aviva Premiership try-scoring charts.

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young said: “I wouldn’t want to pick the team for Stuart, but I know he is in the mix. It’s not the case that just because he’s not there he’s not in their thoughts.

"All of the sports staff and students at RGS are 100 per cent behind Christian and would love to see him back in the squad. He is a try scorer and finisher who can change the course of matches, as proved in the Premiership week in week out. That is what England are missing at the moment."

RGS High Wycombe sports department

“From discussions I’ve had I know he’s not far away and I’m sure if he keeps doing the things he does he’ll get his opportunity.”

For now, England’s loss is certainly Wasps’ gain.

Young said: “From our point of view his positives far out-weigh his negatives. He certainly wins us more games than he loses, that’s for sure.

“He’s up there with the best of them with the ball in hand, but he not only scores tries he creates tries.”

The argument is Wade’s defence isn’t up to scratch, but Young believes that is becoming less valid by the week.

He said: “I don’t think it’s his physicality in the tackle because he wins most collisions from a defensive point of view.

“Something that lets him down on occasions is his decision-making in defence – when to stay out and when to come in.

“That’s experience, but I think he’s improved out of sight.”

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