Aviva Premiership
Young backs Wade for England
ESPN Staff
January 4, 2015
Wasps' Christian Wade attempts to break the line against Sale at the Ricoh Arena © Getty Images

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young pushed the England claims of winger Christian Wade after his man-of-the-match performance helped his side to a 41-16 win over Sale in the Aviva Premiership.

The 23-year-old, who made his England debut against Argentina in the summer of 2013, missed most of last season with an ankle injury but could be a contender for the RBS 6 Nations after an impressive display against a disappointing Sharks at Coventry's Ricoh Arena.

Wade failed to add to his seven tries so far this season but created the first of the match for skipper James Haskell and was a constant threat to the visitors with his dangerous footwork and lighting acceleration.

"I thought he was outstanding, especially in the first half," said Young. "We all know what can do in space but even when space wasn't there he showed some real physicality to break tackles and create opportunities.

"It's not for me to say who should be in (the England team) but I wouldn't swap him for any other winger. He's a big part of taking us forward and whatever jersey he's got on, he's going to be a real threat to whoever he is playing against.

"He is by far one of the most exciting wingers with ball in hand. He's as good a finisher as anyone else but sometimes I don't think he gets as the credit he deserves for creating opportunities for other people, actually. breaking through tackles and offloading.

"Certainly he'd be in any team I'd be involved in. If he gets the nod, he'll do a job I'm sure."

Wade said: "Hearing Dai's comments, it's really humbling for me. I just want to keep putting in performances and let the rest take care of itself."

Scrum-half Joe Simpson scored two of Wasps' five tries and back rowers Ashley Johnson and Nathan Hughes also touched down, with Andy Goode kicking 16 points as Young's side continue to revel in their new home.

Wasps failed to score for the last half-an-hour as Young rung the changes and they finished with 14 men following the sin-binning of former Sale forward James Gaskell.

However, that could not detract from a memorable afternoon as the home side followed up their 48-16 rout of London Irish in December in their first game in the midlands to climb above Leicester and Exeter into fourth place.

"I certainly would have settled for that before the game," Young said. "I thought it was a comfortable win. Emptying the bench with 25 minutes to go allowed us to look after some of the guys and look at others who haven't had much game time.

"All in all I'm really pleased with how it's gone. We've had two big performances here and two big crowds, we've got to keep that going and turn this into a real fortress for us as soon as possible."

Sale had won their last six fixtures against their hosts and had boosted their top-six hopes with four wins from their previous five games but this was a rude awakening for Steve Diamond's men.

"We were given a good hiding," Diamond said. "We just weren't at the races. We were beaten comprehensively all over the show, which doesn't happen to us very often so it's a difficult one to take.

"Mentally we weren't at races and that flowed through to our physicality. That wasn't the normal abrasive side that we are and we need to look at that at training over the next couple of days.

"You've got to give Wasps credit. They were brutal at the ruck, were dominant when they had the ball and they defended well."

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