Christian Wade has been named in England’s Elite Player Squad for the Autumn internationals as his whirlwind year shows no signs of slowing down.
Last term, the London Wasps flyer became the first man to win both the Rugby Players’ Association Players’ Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year in one season. He was then called up to the England squad to tour Argentina before finally joining the British and Irish Lions in Australia.
Last season’s top Aviva Premiership tryscorer is an appealing 6/1 shot to open the scoring for the High Wycombe side as they face fellow Pool 4 front-runners Bayonne at Adams Park. A price improved by the knowledge that Stuart Lancaster will be watching the 22-year-old very closely as he finalises his starting XV for the Australia game in November.
In recent times, the England manager has experimented with converted fullbacks on the wing but a leopard can’t change its spots and as comfortable under the high-ball and tough in defence as Mike Brown is, his finishing is not in the same class as Wade’s.
Not since Jason Robinson have England had a winger with Wade’s potential; his dazzling footwork and electric pace have seen him cross the whitewash 25 times in 42 matches for Wasps.
Dai Young’s experimental side steamrollered Italian champions Viadana 90-7 last week and whilst Bayonne earned their bonus point in tighter, but similarly impressive circumstances over Grenoble, Wasps represent decent value on the (-11) handicap priced at 10/11.
Especially considering that this is the fourth time in five years these sides have been thrown together and the Englishmen have only been beaten once, in 2011.
Indeed, the Basque club have managed just two wins from their 19 previous encounters with English opposition, pointing to a comfortable Wasps win.
All odds and markets are correct at the time of publication
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