Christian Wade eager to team up with his teenage idol Danny Cipriani at Wasps
Wasps winger Christian Wade was one of a handful of players who were at the club during Danny Cipriani’s first stint which ended in 2010. But unlike Joe Simpson and James Haskell, who both played a fair amount alongside the Sale fly half, the likes of Wade and Sam Jones who were teenagers in the Academy, were largely only able to admire his mercurial talents during training sessions.
After a five-year wait, Wade eventually took to the field alongside his former club mate during England’s World Cup warm-up match against the Barbarians last summer. Although neither of them went on to make Stuart Lancaster’s final squad, they both made memorable contributions to their country’s 73-12 win over the legendary invitation side, and Wade certainly enjoyed the experience.
“I never had the opportunity to play with Danny in club rugby,” he says, “When I first joined Wasps as an 18-year-old, Danny was in his last year here before going to Australia. Christian Wade “I didn’t get to play with him as I was in the Academy, but we did train together a fair amount. “When I was in school he was just coming back from his bad ankle injury. I watched him a lot when I first got here and aspired to play with him one day.
“So it was really good to finally get the chance to play alongside him last summer, and him coming back to Wasps now is an exciting thing for me. “The only time we did play together, for England against the Barbarians last summer, was fantastic. The team put quite a lot of points on the board, and personally I managed to score a hat-trick.
“Danny got the man-of-the-match award (for scoring 33 points), and we seemed to blend well together.” Wade believes Wasps have really benefitted from their increased squad depth this season, and says adding a third top-class fly half further improves the club’s situation.
“We’ve got some exciting players already, like Elliot who’s in the England squad, and real strength in depth in most positions,” the England winger says. Danny Cipriani during his previous spell at Wasps “We’ve already got Jimmy Gopperth and Ruaridh Jackson at fly half. Having strong players in every position really helps the team, because everyone is pushed harder, and by making it really competitive, it brings the best out of us all. “Having the two Piutau brothers together for the first time last week showed the quality and potential we have when everyone plays well. “They’d never had the chance to play together before last week at Saracens, so it was a special day for them. “Siale is a great player, as he showed in the World Cup for Tonga and he loves to go and smash people, while Charles is an All Black, and a superb talent.”