- Christian Wade on the prospect of a Test debut in Salta
- “This opportunity doesn’t come around often, you need to go hard at it” – Wade
Christian Wade is nearing a first Test start for England and the 22 year old is determined to do everything it takes to make the most of any opportunity which comes his way.
And for the London Wasps speed-merchant, that means tries. Wings are measured by the frequency with which they cross the whitewash and Wade seems to relish the responsibility – scooting to hat-tricks on his first two senior (but uncapped) international appearances in 2012.
Recall Wade’s try against the Barbarians at Twickenham on May 26 – his ninth try in his last 10 games – and he displayed the try-scoring determination which augments his obvious speed and athleticism.
But explaining how his try-scoring desire is now allied with all-round maturity, he said: “I really wanted to get myself on the score sheet, there was a two-on-one opportunity and I probably could have given it earlier. Speaking to Catty [Mike Catt] afterwards he said: ’I’m glad you scored it because otherwise you might’ve got into trouble.
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“I used to think scoring tries was the only thing and essentially it is the main thing, that’s your job to finish moves but obviously there’s a lot more to it. As I’ve learnt a lot more about the game there are so many other things to do in defence, kick-receipt, kick-chase, so I tend to rate my game on different aspects of the game too.”
England face Argentina in the first Test in Salta on Saturday (kick-off 8.10 BST) before heading back to Buenos Aires for the second Test the following Saturday.
Discussing the potential of two Test appearances in South America, the Aviva Premiership’s leading marksman with 13 in 20 games said: “If I get the opportunity to be in 23 I’m going to give it 100 per cent and take the chance with both hands. This sort of opportunity doesn’t come around very often and you need to go hard at it.
“For me and the rest of the squad it’s about working as a team, doing as much analysis as we can and working hard to box of the result on Saturday.”
Along with some of the other star performers against the Barbarians – including Dave Wilson, Mike Brown, Billy Twelvetrees – Wade watched intently from the stands as England laboured to victory over a CONSUR XV in the tour opener in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Wade, who scooped the unprecedented double of RPA Players’ Player and Young Player Awards at the end of season awards before departing on tour, believes the game provided an invaluable insight into how the game is played in South America and left the squad under no illusions about the scale of the task.
“With the South Americans they’re big strong boys,” he added. “And they have elements of skill about them with their offloading game and the breakdown is always hard. Watching that game gave us an insight into what the Argentina team is going to bring over the next two Tests – we know it’s going to be a tough game and we’re going to have to work hard to get the result we want.”