- Young London Wasp describes first full international
- “I worked really hard to get my hands on the ball” – Wade
An elated Christian Wade was extremely pleased to have marked his maiden Test with an influential display during England’s 32-3 win over Argentina in Salta on Saturday.
The London Wasps flyer was a central figure in a fast-paced first-half, setting his stall out by chasing Freddie Burns’ opening kick-off to make a crunching tackle.
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Thereafter, it Wade’s considerable attacking prowess that took centre stage – his dancing feet and timely distribution creating two clean line-breaks and featuring in the lead-up to each of England’s three tries in the opening 40 minutes.
Speaking shortly after the final whistle, the 22 year-old was clearly pleased with his contribution to an impressive victory at the Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena and singled out his support-play as an encouraging facet.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “My first time running out for England in a full international was a really great feeling. I thought we had a great game as a team so it’s good to cap the day off with a win as well.
“I managed to get into the game quite early, making a hit from the kick-off. That nearly took my ear off, but after that I worked really hard to get my hands on the ball.
“We managed to create a few opportunities and I was lucky enough to put a few people away. Ben Morgan carried really well, beating the first man and getting that offload away. Billy Twelvetrees was the same.
“It was just about following those guys, really, and getting myself in position to be that middle man.”
Having seen his side go into the break at 25-3 up, Stuart Lancaster would have wanted more to show for the second period than a solitary Billy Vunipola score.
But while Wade acknowledged the need to tighten up in the discipline department ahead of next weekend’s second Test, he also suggested that interim defence coach Paul Gustard would be encouraged by the Pumas’ inability to record a single five-pointer.
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“You’ve got to give the Argentineans credit – they’re very big up front and great with the ball in hand. Obviously when we came out at the start of the second half with a bit of a lead, they knew they had to do a lot more.
“They came at us hard with their pick-and-go game and were smashing the breakdowns, too. We found it hard to compete against that and got punished with a lot of penalties.
“Paul [Gustard] said to us in a meeting that when he looks at scores, it is always the points against that he sees. He’ll be happy with the fact that we didn’t concede a try but he won’t be happy with the discipline and our penalty count so we will have to step that up.”
Looking ahead to Buenos Aires – and the chance to record a clean-sweep over Argentina for the first time ever – Wade warned that more lapses in concentration might well be punished.
“We’ve got one more job to do and we’ll look at that second-half performance and know that we need to be on the ball for the whole 80 minutes,” he finished. “They are a tough team to beat and we can’t lay off the gas.”