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Wade enhances England claims
IT is becoming increasingly difficult to see how England can continue keeping Christian Wade at arm’s length.
He has provided compelling evidence of his talent on an almost weekly basis this season and his wonder-try against Gloucester last Saturday – his latest entry to a collection of wondery-trys – was just another prod into the rids of Stuart Lancaster.
He said: “If I’m scoring tries then people will see that, but I’m not sure if it’s going to attract his attention.
“I’d like to think he’d take notice, but there are a lot of players scoring good tries and playing well.”
There aren’t many who could’ve scored his try on Saturday though, when he had to leap to collect Billy Vunipola’s pass one-handed before regaining his balance and skinning Jonny May with utter contempt.
He said: “I can’t really remember it. It just opened up.
“I think it was Jonny May and Dan Robson coming across so I had to use a bit of footwork. But I don’t really rate my tries, I was just happy to get across the whitewash.
“It helps when you’ve got big players like Billy who are able to shrug off some players and get beyond the gain line and make a line break.
“I anticipated that and was on the outside. With his great handling skills he was able to find me and I was fortunate enough to keep hold of the ball and run it in.”
Wasps were losing when he caught the ball, but just five seconds later he’d turned the match around and director of rugby Dai Young admits it was the defining moment.
He said: “It was nip and tuck but he gave us a little bit of breathing space. We didn’t have to chase it and it gave us the condifence and belief that the game was ours then.”
It’s not the first time Young has had to sing the praises of the former RGS High Wycombe pupil – 25 tries have come since he broke into the Wasps team 43 matches ago.
He said: “I’m sure you guys will write some nice stuff about him because if you give him a little bit of space there are very few that are any better.
“Every time he had the ball in his hands he looked a real threat, and people underestimate his strength and power. Not only has he got great footwork to beat people and great speed, he’s quite hard to hold on to as well.
“All he can do is keep his performances up where they are and hopefully he’ll get his opportunity at a higher level.
“At the moment though we’re absolutely delighted to have him here.”
It’s surely only a matter of time, but for now England’s loss is Wasps’ gain as they strive for the play-offs.
Wade said: “We’re lucky enough to have players who can change a game, players like Billy, Joe Simpson, Tom Varndell, Elliot Daly, Andrea Masi...there are players across the board playing well and quite a few of them are quite young.
“Hopefully we nurture those players, keep working year on year and hopefully we can all stay together and be a great force in the future."
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