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Wade excited about defence

Christian Wade is known for his explosive finishing but the Wasps wing is ready to pack a punch without the ball when he makes his England debut against Argentina on Saturday.

At 5ft 8in and weighing under 13 stone, Wade has been working hard on his defence since he was first called into the senior England squad last summer to ensure he is not a weak link. And Wade is convinced that, under the guidance of interim defence coach Paul Gustard, he can punch above his weight in the first Test against the Pumas in Salta.

Gustard is filling in for Andy Farrell, who is on British and Irish Lions duty, but both men preach from the same hymn sheet and Wade said: "The way they communicate, you get excited about wanting to defend, working together as a team and as a system."

He added: "So when there is a big hit it is kind of exciting. Two of our buzz words are about energy and bounce. When we are defending we get a buzz to go out and we just want to go out and make tackles.

"It's really exciting. He breaks it down and he understands everyone's position and fits into real game time.

"With me being a smaller guy, the main thing is to tackle low so for me if I'm already down there it's up to me to make those tackles.

"He's looking at me to make sure my tackling technique is correct and I'm chopping them down at the legs."

Wade will take over on the England right wing from Chris Ashton, who was criticised for his own poor defence and a lack of tries during the RBS 6 Nations. There is certainly no doubting Wade's try-scoring potential after a season in which he touched down 18 times in 26 games for Wasps and won a unique double at the Rugby Players' Association Awards.

"When you are playing in an England shirt you have to make it your own," Wade said.

"Saturday is a great opportunity and you have got to make the most of it. These opportunities don't come up that much and you have to be at your best to make it count."


From Belfast Telegraph