Christian Wade: London Wasps winger targets England role

London Wasps winger Christian Wade wants to establish himself in the England team this season.

Wade, 22, made his debut for the national side against Argentina in June and was called into the British & Irish Lions squad this summer.

He told BBC London: "My goal is to try and establish myself in the England squad now I have been given that spot in the England Performance Squad.

Christian Wade factfile
Christian Wade
  • Age: 22
  • Club: Wasps
  • Club appearances: 50 (32 tries)
  • International debut: v Barbarians (26 May)
  • Test debut: v Argentina (8 June)
  • British & Irish Lions: One appearances v ACT Brumbies
  • Honours: RPA players' player of the year and young player of the year 2012-13; Wasps players' player of the season 2012-13

    "I'd like to try and cement a place in the team."

    High Wycombe-born Wade was named in England's Elite Performance Squad by national head coach Stuart Lancaster last month on the back of a season which saw him finish as the joint-highest try-scorer in the Premiership.

    Seen to be in competition with Saracens winger Chris Ashton for an international place,  Wade says he wants to focus on his form and put speculation on selection matters aside.

    "With the team it is about what the coaches want," Wade said. "The media can talk but at the end of the day it is not the media who choose the team.

    "For me and Chris Ashton and any other wingers, we need to play our game and whoever is on form and doing well, and depending on how he [Stuart Lancaster] wants to play, will get selected for England.

    "I don't see any pressures as such when it comes to selection. Ultimately it will cause your form to go down if you are thinking about things you can't control - that is the way I cope with it."

    Wade has had a whirlwind and globetrotting summer; playing for England against the Barbarians at Twickenham, making his Test debut in South America and then travelling to Australia when he was drafted into the Lions squad for their ultimately successful tour.

    England's autumn internationals
    • 2 November: Australia
    • 9 November: Argentina
    • 16 November: New Zealand

      However, he admits that being referred to as 'England and British & Irish Lions winger' has not yet sunk in.

      "It sounds pretty good but I don't know if I have fulfilled it as yet," he said. "I didn't have enough time to think about it [the Lions call up] when I got the phone call.

      "Previous to the Lions announcement, I wasn't in the England team. My aspirations were to try and get into the England squad so the Lions were not on my mind at all.

      "I was focusing on doing well for my club and trying to get on the summer tour to Argentina and putting my hand up to get a cap or two out there.

      "That was my mindset, so when I did get the Lions call it was pretty much a total shock.

      Aviva Premiership 2013-14: Opening weekend fixtures
      Toby Flood

      Friday, 6 September:

      Newcastle v Bath (19:45 BST)

      Saturday, 7 September:

      London Irish v Saracens (14:00 BST)

      Gloucester v Sale (15:00 BST)

      Northampton v Exeter (15:00 BST)

      Wasps v Harlequins (16:30 BST)

      Sunday, 8 September:

      Leicester v Worcester (14:00 BST)

      "I saw how well they were playing but also saw people dropping like flies with injury - but I never thought I would get the call-up to go.

      "All the boys there were on form or have been for years and years, like Brian O'Driscoll, and I think that is why we were successful out there.

      "Hopefully I can continue to work on my game and try and get myself into the initial squad for a Lions Test series."

      As for his club side, London Wasps begin the new Aviva Premiership campaign against 2012 champions Harlequins at Twickenham on Saturday.

      The Adams Park outfit finished in eighth place in the table last season and Wade believes the side must learn to be more clinical in games.

      "As a team we are in a better place than we were last year," he said. "We had a tough season two years ago, nearly getting relegated.

      "We didn't do too bad last year but we have been brought in early this year to work hard with all the new boys coming in.

      "I think this year we are in a better place with some great personnel who can manage games a bit better.

      "It would be great for all of us to come though and come away with some silverware."

      Interview with Christian Wade by BBC London's Sara Orchard.