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Christian Wade (born 15 May 1991) is a British sportsman who was an England rugby union international, playing as a wing, and is now playing American football as a running back for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL).

Christian Wade
Christian Wade, Twickenham - May 2012.jpg
Wade on his debut for the England rugby union team in 2012
Date of birth (1991-05-15) 15 May 1991 (age 28)
Place of birthSlough, England
Height1.71 m (5 ft 7 in)
Weight86 kg (13 st 8 lb; 190 lb)
SchoolRoyal Grammar School, High Wycombe
UniversitySt Mary's University College
Rugby union career
Position(s) Wing
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Chinnor R.F.C. ()
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2011–2018 Wasps 165 (497)
Correct as of 9 April 2019
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2009–11
2011
2013
2013
Eng U20
England Saxons
England
British and Irish Lions
8
6
1
0
40
(0)
(0)
(0)
National sevens team(s)
Years Team Comps
2009–2010 England 7's 7 (22 Tries)

Football career
No. 45 – Buffalo Bills
Position:Running back
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status:Practice squad
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at NFL.com

Wade scored 82 tries in Premiership Rugby, England's top rugby union division, which places him third in the most tries scored records list. In October 2018 Wade left rugby union to pursue a career in the NFL.[1] On 8 April 2019, Wade signed a professional contract with the Buffalo Bills.

Early lifeEdit

Raised in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, Wade attended Hamilton Primary School and Royal Grammar School.[2] He initially was not interested in rugby union but picked up the sport as it was the RGS's primary sport.[3] He represented England U16 A, England U18 and England U20 and also Wasps at the Middlesex Sevens as a schoolboy. A former district and English Schools athlete, Wade ran a time of 10.8 seconds over the 100m distance at the age of 16. He was trained by the former English sprinter Julian Golding.[4]

After finishing school, Wade studied Sport Science and Psychology at St Mary's University College in Twickenham while playing for the Wasps' academy side and then the senior team. As of 14 February 2017, he had a 0.623 tries per game ratio for Wasps with 76 tries in 122 matches. For the England Saxons, Wade had a 1.5 tries per game ratio, scoring 9 tries in 6 matches.

Rugby union careerEdit

Club careerEdit

Wade made his debut for Wasps in Abu Dhabi on 30 January 2011 against Harlequins by replacing Jack Wallace in the 48th minute of the 13–38 defeat in the 2010–2011 Season. He made 3 further appearances that season scoring one try against Exeter Chiefs.

Wade had a strong 2011/12 season, when despite missing three months with injury, he finished the season as the second highest try scorer in the Premiership with nine in 15 games. The season ended on a high for Wade with selection for England's tour in South Africa. He scored against the famous Barbarians as a replacement, and set up a try for Jonathan Joseph. He finished the England Tour as the top try scorer with 4 tries after scoring a hat trick.

At the end of the 2012/13 season, Wade was named both the Players' Player of the Year and the Young Player of the Year after a good season for Wasps. He finished level with Wasps teammate Tom Varndell as the Premiership's joint leading try-scorer with 13. He also scored 5 tries in the 2012–13 European Challenge Cup. He scored 18 tries in 26 appearances in that season.[5]

Wade was rewarded for his form and was called up into the England senior squad and the British and Irish Lions squad – a huge accolade.[6]

The 2013/2014 season was disappointing for the youngster after such a successful summer. Wade made 10 appearances and scored five tries before an injury against London Irish in November ended his season. He has an 84% tackle success rate for wasps in this season,making 542m in his 10 appearances.

After eight months of rehabilitation, the flying winger made his return against Saracens scoring 2 tries in defeat.[7] He then went on to score 12 more tries in the next 21 games. He scored against the Irish Wolfhounds in Cork after replacing Chris Ashton with his second touch of the ball.[8] Despite constant calls from fans and media alike, Wade remained in the Saxons squad and was not called up to the Elite Playing Squad.

On 16 April 2016, Wade equalled the Premiership record by scoring six tries in one match against Worcester.

International careerEdit

SevensEdit

He made his international sevens debut at the IRB Sevens World Series in Dubai in December 2009 and he scored 7 tries in George a week later, finishing joint top try scorer with Fijian wizard, William Ryder. He added 2 more in Wellington and 3 more tries in Las Vegas a week later. He scored 3 in London. Overall, he amassed 22 tries in 7 tournaments in the 2009–10 Series, which made him the 15th highest individual try scorer that season. Wade was selected for the 17-man initial England rugby sevens training squad for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

U20sEdit

He was part of the England U20 side at the 2010 IRB Junior World Championship in Argentina, which finished 4th overall, losing to South Africa in the 3rd–4th place play-offs. He scored one try against Argentina in the tournament, which was won by 2009 winners New Zealand. On 31 May 2012, Wade made his international debut for England against the Barbarians, starting at number 11 and scoring one try while setting up Jonathan Joseph in the last play of the game with some elusive footwork, although this game was uncapped. England went on to win the game 57–26.

Senior Team and LionsEdit

He was selected for the England summer tour to Argentina, Wade scored in a warm up game against the Barbarians winning 40–12. He made his full test debut against Argentina on 8 June on the right wing playing the whole 80 minutes. Wade was selected for the second game against Argentina the following week but withdrew from the team when he was called up to join the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour to Australia.[9] He made his Lions debut on the right wing against Australian Super Rugby side, The Brumbies.

Wade was initially selected to play against Argentina in the 2013 Autumn Internationals, however a slight hamstring tear meant he had to withdraw from the game. An injury in a club game at the beginning of December against London Irish meant he played no part in the 2014 Six Nations and the Summer Tour to New Zealand.

Wade was overlooked for the 2014 Internationals, but was selected for the England Saxons to play against the Irish Wolfhounds. Wade – as of January 2016 – has scored 8 tries for England in his past 4 matches (one off the bench for 10 minutes vs the Irish Wolfhounds). He was selected for the England Saxons to the Tour of South Africa.

International triesEdit

Try Opposing team Location Venue Competition Date Result Score
Barbarians London, England Twickenham Summer International 27 May 2012 Win 57 – 26 [10]
‡ x3 South African Barbarians (South) Kimberley, South Africa Griquas Park 2012 Tour of South Africa 13 June 2012 Win 54 – 26 [11]
Barbarians London, England Twickenham Summer International 26 May 2013 Win 40 – 12 [12]
Ireland Wolfhounds Cork, Ireland Musgrave Park 30 January 2015 Win 40 – 12 [13]
† x3 Barbarians London, England Twickenham 30 January 2015 Win

† Full international cap not awarded for Barbarians Test match [10][12]

‡ Full international cap not awarded for South African Barbarians South Test match [11]

American football careerEdit

In October 2018 Wade left rugby to pursue a career in the NFL,[1] with the Wasps releasing him from his contract.[14]

On 8 April 2019 Wade was allocated as a running back to the Buffalo Bills as part of the NFL's International Player Pathway program.[15][16] Notably, Wade had a 65-yard touchdown run on his first carry in the pre-season game against the Indianapolis Colts.[17]

On 31 August 2019, Wade was waived by the Bills and signed to the practice squad the next day.[18][19][20]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Christian Wade: Wasps winger quits rugby union for NFL career". BBC. 19 October 2018. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Christian Wade: Float like a butterfly, sting like a Wasp". The Independent. 5 November 2011.
  3. ^ "Christian Wade: There's a place for a winger like me". The Guardian. 21 December 2012.
  4. ^ "Stuart Lancaster says Wasps wing Christian Wade will have more opportunities for England". Daily Telegraph. 7 September 2012.
  5. ^ wasps.co.uk
  6. ^ "Lions 2013: Christian Wade & Brad Barritt drafted into squad". 15 June 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2017 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  7. ^ "Premiership: Saracens 34–28 Wasps". 6 September 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2017 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  8. ^ "England Saxons win away to Ireland Wolfhounds". 30 January 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2017 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  9. ^ "Wade handed Lions call-up". espn.co.uk. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  10. ^ a b "England 57–26 Barbarians". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  11. ^ a b "England unconvincing in win over SA Southern Barbarians". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  12. ^ a b "England 40–12 Barbarians: Freddie Burns shines in win". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  13. ^ "England Saxons win away to Ireland Wolfhounds". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  14. ^ "Christian Wade: Wasps release NFL-bound winger from contract". BBC. 24 October 2018.
  15. ^ "Christian Wade: Ex-England winger signs for Buffalo Bills". BBC. 8 April 2019.
  16. ^ Brown, Chris (8 April 2019). "NFL International player Christian Wade allocated to the Bills". BuffaloBills.com.
  17. ^ "Christian Wade: Ex-Wasps player scores sensational 65-yard touchdown on Buffalo Bills debut". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  18. ^ "Christian Wade: Buffalo Bills choose not to pick former rugby player in NFL roster". 31 August 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  19. ^ Brown, Chris (31 August 2019). "Bills cut roster down to 53 players". BuffaloBills.com.
  20. ^ Brown, Chris (1 September 2019). "Bills begin to assemble practice squad, Christian Wade holds 11th exempt spot". BuffaloBills.com.

External linksEdit