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Winger Wade makes mark on rugby world

FINISHER: Wade dives in for another try

WITH SEVEN tries in four games for England at last month’s rugby Junior World Cup, Christian Wade finished the tournament as top try scorer and enhanced his reputation as a fearsome finisher.

Despite the disappointment of losing in the final to New Zealand 33-22, the London Wasps winger thoroughly enjoyed playing in the under-20 tournament in Italy and explained that he will build on the experiences that he learned over there.

The 20-year-old from High Wycombe told the Voice of Sport: “We made it all the way through to the final which was really good for us as a team because one of our goals was to become one of the best in the world and we knew that we had the strength and depth in our team to do so. But obviously we just tripped up at the last hurdle.

“It was a good achievement for us as a team but the fact that we lost brings us down a bit but we’re still proud of how much we achieved. It was good experience for us and a good development process. We can take that into our careers for the future. “

Wade’s tries included a hat-trick against Scotland, one against France in the semi-final and two against the Baby Blacks in the final. But the pick of the bunch was a blistering solo effort against South Africa where Wade, who just came on as a substitute, raced past four Springbok defenders - even though he was seemingly tackled – and touched down between the posts.

A product of London Wasps’ renowned academy, Wade was pleased with his efficacious performances after a frustrating start to the year.

“For me it was a big success really because I suffered from an injury at the beginning of the season,” said Wade.

“I’ve been out for four months and this part of the year I’ve played most of my rugby because my first game was in February and I managed to get myself back into the under-20 squad for the Six Nations. Throughout the whole Six Nations I was on the bench, I wasn’t seeing much game time so coming towards the World Cup I wasn’t even sure if I was going.

“I made it into the squad, didn’t play the first game but then played in the second game. I started and scored three tries so that was good for me and then I just kind of found form from there. I finished being top try scorer and I think that the World Cup was a big success for me personally where I found my try scoring form. I think I had a really good tournament.”

In just two months time the rugby World Cup begins in New Zealand and England will be aiming to repeat their tournament triumph of eight years ago. In 2015 England will host the rugby World Cup and Wade has set himself the goal of occupying a position on the wing for Martin Johnson’s side in four years time.

“That would probably be one of the best things ever if I was to be involved in the World Cup at that stage,” stated the England Sevens international, who clocked 11 seconds in the 100 metres aged 16.

“It’s in our home, we’ll have the biggest support and around that time I should be in my prime as well so to be picked would be one of the best things. It’s definitely a goal of mine as well.”

For years rugby has been perceived as a sport that is predominantly played by white middle and upper class people but there were several young black players in the England under-20 squad along with Wade such as Guy Armitage, Jonathan Joseph and Marland Yarde.

The 5’8” tall Wade believes that the black presence in rugby has considerably grown and is proud to be one of a number of black players that have proved they have the potential to earn senior England honours in the future.

“I think if you look at the game today as well we’ve definitely changed the perception. There are a lot more black players in a lot of teams. Generally speaking the black players are the special players in the team as well so it’s good for me to know that I’m apart of this generation coming through and that we can inspire other young black people. The interest is definitely rising amongst young black boys trying to play rugby so I think it’s really good to be apart of that movement.”

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