Christian Wade: I will make England shirt mine


Wyn Griffiths
Tuesday 04 June 2013 22:32
Christian Wade will make his England Test debut on Saturday
Christian Wade will make his England Test debut on Saturday

Christian Wade insists he is not just keeping the England shirt warm for Chris Ashton as he prepares to make his Test debut against Argentina on Saturday.

Ashton has been given the summer off by England and Wade is ready to lay permanent claim to the right wing berth at the end of an impressive season.

"When you are playing in an England shirt you have to make it your own," Wade said. "These opportunities don't come up that much and you have to be at your best to make it count."

The Wasps wing scored 18 tries in 26 appearances for the Aviva Premiership club and he won a unique double at the Rugby Players' Association awards, when he was named both the Players' Player of the Year and the Young Player of the Year.

"Chris Ashton and a few others have been rested. Some have gone on the Lions tour so this is an opportunity for some of the younger players to show what they can do," the 22-year-old Wade said.

"It is all a journey to 2015. Stuart [Lancaster, head coach] wants to build the strength of the squad so if there is an injury or someone is not performing he can put one of the youngsters in to fill that jersey."

Both Six Nations champions Wales and Scotland have named inexperienced squads for their respective tour matches against Japan and South Africa on Saturday.

Welsh outside-half Dan Biggar is the only player who started the Six Nations decider against England to have travelled to the Far East with Wales providing 15 of the British and Irish Lions squad.

"This is probably the most inexperienced Test squad Wales have put together so we have to be realistic with our expectations," defence coach Shaun Edwards said.

Interim Scotland head coach Scott Johnson has named a youthful team for their opening tour match with Edinburgh's Greig Tonks and Glasgow Warriors pair Alex Dunbar and Pat MacArthur all making their debuts against Samoa in Durban. Tom Heathcote and Grant Gilchrist, will win second caps.

"We want to broaden the base and it gives us the perfect opportunity to see how these guys stand up," said Johnson.

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