- Exciting young backs impress with a three-try tally
- Today was a great opportunity to try things out and get our systems in place – Wade
Try-scoring debutants Christian Wade and Jonathan Joseph have each expressed their delight at marking the beginning of their England careers with a comprehensive 57-26 victory over the Barbarians.
Wade was handed a starting berth on the left wing for Sunday’s traditional end-of season fixture at Twickenham and used his lightning pace to good effect on the hour mark, crossing the line to stretch the hosts’ lead.
Though Joseph had to wait longer to join the fray, coming on as a replacement for Charlie Hodgson ten minutes after half-time, the London Irish outside centre wasted no time in exploiting a tired defence, first latching onto Owen Farrell’s chip for his maiden score before linking up with Wade at the death to secure an impressive brace.
Speaking afterwards, Joseph was quick to credit his teammates for coming up with a pair of skilful assists during his first match for the senior side under Stuart Lancaster.
“I am obviously delighted,” smiled the 21 year-old. “I had some great players around me and they helped massively – Christian created [a try] for me and so did Owen. It was just a case of getting on the end of things really.
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“I know Christian well and know the way he does things. Because his footwork is so good and he beats players, you should get lucky if you trail him.”
After declaring himself “overwhelmed” and “over the moon” at contributing to a straightforward Killik Cup win, Wade himself described his team’s scrupulous approach to the game, which acted as a curtain-raiser for England’s summer tour of South Africa.
“We knew it was going to be a challenge for us, especially given the personnel in their team,” explained the young London Wasp, who enjoyed a prolific season in the Aviva Premiership. “We basically wanted to get some good transference from the training field onto the pitch.
“We’ve been working very hard for the last two weeks so we were well prepared – we have to be because it is going to be tough in South Africa.
“Today was a great opportunity to try things out and get our systems in place. We came up with the win and that was the main aim at the start of the day, so we are happy.”
Responding to the praise that new Backs Coach Mike Catt had for him at the final whistle, Joseph finished by outlining his own intentions to put himself in line for a Test cap over the next month.
“I have been under Mike for a long time now and have a great respect for him,” he said. “All I can do is focus on me in South Africa, though.
“I need to train well and play well when I get the opportunity. After that, selection is down to Stuart, and how he wants to play the game. I will just do the best I can.”