Wade’s road to recovery leads to New Zealand


London Wasps and England winger Christian Wade has endured a torrid season. After a breakout campaign in 2012/2013, this year he has been blighted by a foot injury that required surgery, and hasn’t played since November.

Initially, it was thought that he wouldn’t return until next season, but now the Wasps flyer says he is hopeful of making an earlier comeback and is targeting the England tour to New Zealand in June.

“I would love to go to New Zealand,” said Wade. “It’s a massive tour and would give me an opportunity to stake my claim. I was on a bit of a high before I got injured so it could be quite a good opportunity.”

The injury was doubly frustrating for Wade, as it came at a time when England’s wing play had stagnated and he was on the brink of being given his first chance to earn an extended run in the national team. Since being injured, however, Marland Yarde, Jonny May and Jack Nowell have all become embedded to varying degrees in the set-up and while none have really set the world alight, it is a feature of Stuart Lancaster’s England that once you have your place, it is difficult to be ousted.

The coaches, however, clearly see 22-year old Wade in their long-term plans and have been in touch with him throughout his injury struggles.

“I’ve spoken to Stuart (Lancaster) about the New Zealand tour and the games after that,” said the Wasps player. “He’s said that he will take quite a large squad and if I’m ready to play, then he will want me to come. I’m still in the EPS squad on the injury list so I was going into camp throughout the Six Nations to catch up with the coaches.”

wadeReturning from such a serious injury is never easy, but there are few places worse than New Zealand to find yourself undercooked. Wade appreciates that there is a lot of hard work to be done if he is to make it back in time for what is probably the toughest international tour around, but also insists that if he is ready to play and England want him, being thrown in at the deep end will not matter.

“If I’m ready I’m ready. Any England game you could say is the deep end. They have some of the best wingers in the world and that brings out the best of you.”

Wade’s is an injury that can reoccur, so he will not be rushed back, but with wanting to be ready for the New Zealand tour in the back of his mind, Wasps’ busy run-in to the end of the season could be looked at as a huge positive – shop windows, and all that.

“If we get through to the Amlin final or the seventh-placed play-off then it could give me the opportunity to play some club rugby before the end of the season,” he says.

Wasps’ Amlin semi-final with Bath is undoubtedly a big occasion for a club that has fallen far from the glory days of a few years ago, and while the pursuit of their first trophy since 2008 is certainly important, securing seventh place in the Premiership and the new European play-off spot that comes with it must now be the club’s primary objective.

It begins this weekend against Gloucester, just two points behind them, in ‘The Stinger’ at Twickenham.

By Jamie Hosie
Follow Jamie on Twitter: @jhosie43

London Wasps take on Gloucester Rugby in The Stinger on Saturday 19th April at 3:15pm, exclusively live on BT Sport. Ticke?ts are available at ticketmaster.co.uk/wasps

20 thoughts on “Wade’s road to recovery leads to New Zealand

  1. Wade said he ”would love to go to New Zealand”. Well, I would too, because along with Mike Brown, I see him as the most electric player in England’s arsenal. However, I do have some reservations. Not so much with Wade himself, but with the England mid field. I said this before, but what the hey, I’ll say it again. Wade must have quick ball & be put into space. If that doesn’t happen he’ll be wasted in NZ. The other concern is that Wade’s stature could mean that he’ll be brushed aside in tackles. The obvious solution is for him to get his timing & technique right… & tackle low! Ok, so the tackled oppo player might offload, but as Wade’ll likely be bumped off by a bigger player anyway, he has little choice. He must get his speed & timing right tho.

    The author says’ ”there are few places worse than New Zealand to find yourself (or yr team?)undercooked”. And that ”none (of the wingers) have really set the world alight”. Also that ”it is a feature of Stuart Lancaster’s England that once you have your place, it is difficult to be ousted”.

    Well if any are undercooked it’s likely that the author is right, but he seems a bit harsh on the wingers for not ”setting the world alight”, esp in light of my views on England’s mid field. It’s not just down to the wings. It’s a team game & the inside backs need to shape up fast for NZ & create room for the wide guys out there.

    Regds ”once (players) have their place, it is difficult (for them) to be ousted”, well yes & no. In Farrell’s case I’d agree, but in Barritt’s case, e.g., I’d disagree. This is not the real issue for me tho. It’s getting an all round game together against the AB’s which, IMO, is more likely to threaten them rather than sticking to ‘game management’ theories like kicking the lard of the ball which will likely be meat & drink to NZ. To do this the fwds need to front up, not only in the tight, but definitely in the loose. They must get & maximise possession for the likes of Christin Wade to have any chance of flourishing in the ”no country for old men or the undercooked”.

    Anyway, I hope Wade goes. And I hope that he gets a few real runs. Altho, on the other hand, maybe not overly so… for my blood pressure’s sake!

    1. I can’t really understand the criticism of the midfield. We scored 14 tries during the last 6N and 3 of them came from Burrell. They also distributed pretty well. Its not an area I’m particularly concerned with right now. We’ve had a period where our midfield options have been depressing crap (Tindall picked when he’s over the hill, Noon, Hape etc). I think in 36, Luther and Tui we have 3 really exciting players, with guys like Eastmond and JJ to come into the mix as well. This England squad is shaping up to be very interesting.

    2. Don, Wade would certainly revel in space. What really enables him to stand out though, is his work in tight spaces, in creating space, and seeing gaps when there appears to be none there.

    3. Your observation of Wade is bizarre. He often plays outside Andy Goode, Chris Bell and Andrea Masi at Wasps, whilst all (minus Goode) are good players, they are hardly great distributors that put him on loads of space.

      Wade’s excellence comes in his ability to create something from nothing.

      Considering where we were even one year ago, our midfield and back play has come on a lot. Whilst we are not NZ, we were never going to be over night. Progress is progress, and I’m pretty sure almost all England fans are happy with the direction our back line is going.

        1. It’s not that I don’t rate Goode necessarily – I just find him very frustrating. I honestly think the current Wasps side is two or three players away from challenging for the top 4. Key areas for me are tight head, and fly half.

          Goode doesn’t seem to get our back line moving particularly well, and has not been particularly reliable with the boot this year. Our back line has looked more stagnant this season even compared to when Nicky Robinson was running things from there. The injuries to Wade/Varndell have not helped, but I still don’t think he is good enough to be at 10 if we want to get in the top four.

          We have lost 11 games in the Prem this year by less than 7. That to me comes down to a lack of control that our half backs give us. Maybe slightly harsh as its obviously more than that, but I do put a fair bit of blame at their door.

          Simpson is good but does not control the game particularly well. Electric pace and does offer a lot.

          If, for example, Burns came to Wasps, or Preistland as was early season rumour, I honestly think we would be there or there abouts for fourth place.

          1. Wade hasn’t really played outside of Goode that much though. He had a lot more time with Robinson and Jones. Robinson was very good at getting the ball about.

            I do agree however that Wades speciality is creating out of nothing, he doesn’t need much space. He’s also devastating when he moves infield, missing out the centres. His try against Glaws being a prime example from this season.

  2. Alan

    I think yr view is indicative of a certain NH one. When you compare Ireland’s mid field v Fr with England’s lines of runing you may see what I mean, but if you think England are doing ok, then you’re entitled.

    NZ will be a step up from the 6N however & other commentaters like Greenwood, Robinson & Barnes agree with me.

    The real proof will be in the eating of the AB pudding tho.

    1. You do write some bizarre things on here Don P.

      Why do you need to draw on commentators to realise that NZ are a step up from the 6 nations? Who on Earth has ever suggested otherwise?

      We are all pretty clear about the fact that NZ are the best side in the world, so clearly it is a step up. It would be a step up from playing anyone. They’re the best on the planet.

  3. Blub

    I suspect the NZ space will be tighter than a certain ex copper I know who never buys his round.

  4. Jacob

    Then commentaters views like those of Greenwood, Robinson & Barnes must also be bizarre then.

    YAnd you don’t speciffically state why or what views I have of Wade are bizarre… which is a bit bizarre.

  5. Jacob

    Then commentaters views like those of Greenwood, Robinson & Barnes may also be bizarre.

    You’re being a bit general. You don’t speciffically state why or what views I have of Wade are bizarre… which is a bit bizarre?

    Mind you, you are a Wasps’ fan, so you can’t be all bad. Used to enjoy seeing the odd game at Loftus Rd.

    1. Just to clear up both points quickly:

      On the commentators issue. What I meant was that it seems unnecessary to draw on commentators that also think the NZ will be a big step up from the 6 nations. That’s common sense.

      On Wade. My point was that Wade is a something out of nothing player, who works very well in tight spaces – that’s one of his key assets.

      You said – “Wade must have quick ball & be put into space.” The reason that is bizarre is that it goes against one of his key assets.

      That isn’t to say space would not benefit him; simply that he isn’t a player that needs it to score tries.

      I feel like I’m repeating myself, so apologies, but hopefully that is clearer now.

  6. Jacob

    There’s a gremlin in the machine.

    I draw on those commentators partly because you think I’m so bizarre.

    Re-reading yr Wade comments about his being outside good distributors @ Wasps (I don’t now see them except for when they’re on TV), perhaps their mid field should be on the plane then?

    I was thinking of Wade in the context of the England backline.

    1. Actually, what I said was that Wade plays outside backs that are not strong distributors and still scores bundles of tries.

      Comes back to the same point. You seem to think Wade must be outside a great distributing back line and be in space to score tries. I think if you’ve ever watched him play you’ll realise that is not the case.

  7. England’s backs have scored 12 tries in their last 5 internationals

    New Zealand’s backs have scored 12 tries in their last 5 internationals (a record padded by the Japan fixture)

    But hey, lets not let an inconvenient fact get in the way of an opinion.

    Yes a greater percentage of NZs have come on the wing, but last I checked tries got the same number of points regardless of who dots it down (conversions are easier if they are through the middle as well!).

    It’s not time to start congratulating ourselves, it’s not job done (yes we are still 4th), but it is progress. It’s as many back 3 tries scored in this 6N as all other competitive internationals under Lancaster. And compared to the awful performances of the latter stages of the 2013 6N and the back play in the autumn it’s a quantum leap.

  8. Matt

    Presuamably aimed @ me?

    Stats can be misleading as well as informative.

    England’s tries are v whom? Mainly 6N, incl Italy (talking padding?).

    Stats ignore the quality of opposition. Also whether most pts are scored v mostly tougher or weaker oppo esp @ home in the 6N. And they are not on a H & A basis as in the SH comp.

    Their is some comparison, but it’s not definitive.

    Might be interesting to compare stats after the June tour?

    1. Thanks for educating me on stats, I had no idea what they were and thanks for the revelation they can be misleading.

      England have been playing teams in and around them in the rankings, the rankings points difference between England and their last 5 opponents is significantly less that New Zealand’s last 5 fixture. You can therefore make an argument that England have been tested (relatively) against stronger opposition and therefore their try scoring record is actually better. You can also make the argument that because England’s tries have been distributed between 6 of the backline positions there is also more variety to their attack … but this isn’t the point I’m making.

      My point is that England’s attack is nowhere near as bad as you suggest, it has improved significantly. I’m using the fact that England’s and New Zealand’s backs have scored the same number of tries in their last 5 fixtures to reinforce that point.

      And then we come back to June …. I hope we have a great tour in June, but I’m realistic, we are currently separated by 8 ranking points. This is significant and fairly reflects where we both currently are. Japan beating France in France would be a similar magnitude of a result. I’ll be delighted if we get any result, but it’s not likely. If we don’t all it will do is confirm that New Zealand are currently a better side than England, we won’t lose the world cup, you won’t win it. It’s a fantastic benchmarking opportunity to test players, player depth, combinations and coaches. It will inform what we need to do to beat you in 2015 (if you get far enough to meet us). The team are obviously going out there to win, right attitude to have of course, but not doing so isn’t necessarily catastrophic. England and Wales have demonstrated that 1 year and a change of home venue can bring a 38 point swing. If we are losing by more than that then I’m definitely worried!

      I’m by no means a Lancaster acolyte, the inexperience of the entire coaching team has been evident in the time it’s taken to start to get things right. But the corner has now been turned, the coaches are out working with the players one-on-one at their clubs. Owen Farrell is putting into practice things he’s learnt from Catt on the Wednesday and setting up a try on a Saturday. We are on our way up, the longer you guys underestimate us and underrate us the better!

  9. Jacob

    I did slightly misread yr comments about Wade’s being outside ‘distributors @ Wasps.

    I’ve seen him mainly on TV. He can elude oppo by, e.g., his change of pace, also rapid acceleration which does same.

    Academic tho as he’ll likely not tour, when IMO, he’d have only got a tel box to op in.. hence his need 4 quicker ball from his 3/4s.

  10. Matt

    Bit defensive. Was making a pt that’s all.

    And don’t understand ‘we won’t lose the world cup, you won’t win it’ thing. Crystal ball stuff.

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