- Wade has one cap for England
- Part of Saxons squad touring South Africa
Christian Wade’s England career so far has been severely disrupted by injury and the flying winger admits he is relishing pulling on the Red Rose jersey once more on the Saxons tour to South Africa.
Ali Hepher leads a Saxons side that will play two Tests against South Africa A later this month and the 25-year-old Wade is desperate to prove himself.
Wade won his first – and so far only – England cap back in 2013 on their summer tour to Argentina and was then called up as injury cover for the British & Irish Lions.
Since then injury has deprived him of adding to that tally – most notably in the 2013 QBE Autumn internationals – but in uncapped clashes for England he has been on fire.
He has crossed for four tries in two meetings with the Barbarians – including a hat-trick at Twickenham last year – and he also dotted down for the Saxons against the Irish Wolfhounds.
England Saxons hit the Durban beaches today— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) June 1, 2016
Here's one man who'll be intent on making a splash in South Africa pic.twitter.com/8JO7o5Avt2
And Wade admits he is itching to make up for lost time when he heads to South Africa – a country he toured with England back in 2012 that also saw him cross for a hat-trick against the South African Barbarians.
“I am just happy to be on tour again, I’ve had a couple of injuries over the last few years that has stopped me from touring or playing any international rugby really,” said Wade, who turned 25 last month.
“So for me getting the chance to tour was a delight, I’m excited to be here and can’t wait to get to South Africa.
“It’s a chance for us to show what we can do and it’s another challenge, after a very long season.
“It’s a breath of fresh air to meet up with the boys and start to look forward to this new challenge, hopefully it can be a successful one as well.
“When you go from Premiership to European, you get a new spark in your step and it’s the same thing here.
“Plus you are playing for your country, the season is done and in the past, so we are all really excited.”
MENTALLY PREPARED FOR PHYSICAL BATTLE
The Saxons will face a strong South Africa A side coached by Johan Ackermann that includes six players with Springbok experience in Oupa Mohoje, Nizaam Carr, Coenie Oosthuizen, Vincent Koch, Marcel van der Merwe and Piet van Zyl.
But England are not short of top-flight experience – the likes of Dave Attwood, Kieran Brookes and Danny Cipriani have all got ten or more games for England under their belts.
And Wade is in particular looking forward to seeing how the back line can click on the hard pitches of the Rainbow Nation.
“Danny Cipriani, Ollie Devoto, Mike Haley, these are all players that want to play running rugby and for a player like me and Roko and Alex Lewington that is perfect for us, running rugby is what we like,” he added.
“South Africa are always physical and play hard-running rugby, obviously with the hard ground as well it will be a fairly quick game so we will need to be mentally prepared to take on that physical battle.”