Wasps wing Christian Wade 'shocked and humbled' to win Players' Player and Young Player of the Year awards

 

Christian Wade was “shocked and humbled” to learn he had gone one better than Jonny Wilkinson by scooping a unique double at the Rugby Players' Association awards.

The 22-year-old Wasps wing was named both the Computacenter Players' Player of the Year and the LV= Young Player of the Year in recognition of a spectacular season.

Wade scored 18 tries in 26 appearances and he finished level with Wasps team-mate Tom Varndell as the Aviva Premiership's joint leading try-scorer with 12.

Wilkinson is the only other player to have won both RPA awards - but he did so in different years, receiving the young player trophy in 1999 and the main award in 2003.

“I didn't know that. I am really shocked and humbled,” Wade said.

“When it is the players who you play week-in, week-out it makes it that more special. It is the greatest feeling to have the respect of your peers.

”Looking at the quality of the nominees in both awards I didn't expect to win and I am thankful to come out on top.“

Wade won the Players' Player Of The Year award ahead of the Leicester flanker Julian Salvi with Saracens and England prop Mako Vunipola in third.

Vunipola finished runner-up in the Young Player Of The Year award with his brother, the Saracens-bound Wasps number eight Billy, in third.

Wasps were strongly represented with lock Joe Launchbury named the Monitise England Player of the Year for 2012-2013.

Launchbury made his international breakthrough this season and that is the next challenge for Wade, who is set to feature against the Barbarians on Sunday before heading off on the tour of Uruguay and Argentina.

”I will just look to go out there and give my best if I am selected and use it as a springboard to the Argentina tour,“ said Wade, who has scored 32 tries in his 50 first-team appearances for Wasps.

”When you look at the opportunity to play for England, you don't really get many. You see some players who have seized the opportunity and some who haven't.

“There is a lot of pressure and if I get the opportunity in (the two Test matches against) Argentina I need to take it with both hands because it might not come around again.”

Wade has been joined in the England squad by the likes of Gloucester's Jonny May, Marland Yarde from London Irish and Bath's Kyle Eastmond to bring what head coach Stuart Lancaster described as “an X-Factor” to the back division.

Gloucester and England number eight Ben Morgan said: “We've got a really electrifying back field.

”Christian is lightning fast. The way he plays obviously resembles Jason Robinson. He can make space out of nowhere which is very useful.“

Those X-Factor selections point to a change in emphasis from England, who recognised during the Six Nations that the balance of their back three was too defensive and lacked potency.

Wade, who toured with England to South Africa, did not get a look-in as Lancaster persisted with Chris Ashton and Mike Brown on the wings.

Skills coach Mike Catt admitted England ”desperately“ need to improve on their finishing, which is where the likes of Wade come in.

”You play to your team's strengths. If that means driving teams to death, we drive teams to death but one of our strengths is the speed and X-Factor in those wide channels so we need to go there,“ said Catt.

”Christian Wade has been exceptional all season. This is a good opportunity for him to say: 'I have matured as a player' and put his hand up to be selected for the November Tests.

“Going into the 2015 World Cup we need to have two players in each position who are capable of playing international rugby and this tour is about finding out whether these guys can perform and it is a great opportunity.”

News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
books
News
i100
News
Caplan says of Jacobs: 'She is a very collaborative director, and gives actors a lot of freedom. She makes things happen.'
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015