With four tries in the tournament so far, Wade has made a major impact for England in the ongoing Junior World Championships. Set to start tonight’s game against France, Wade’s electric pace has already seen him score a hat-trick in England’s second game against Scotland and come off of the bench against South Africa to devastating effect, providing a spark which kick-started England’s final push towards victory, scoring a try that anyone would be proud of.
“I felt that I came on and made an impact which was what I was asked to do, he said:
“ I was pretty pleased with the try that I scored which gave us a lead which we managed to sustain until the end. I think that the team came together well and we have taken a lot out of the game."
The win against South Africa was a tight one, with England’s opponents almost snatching victory away from them a number of times in the last ten minutes. However, Wade says that the nature of that victory will stand the team in good stead going into the semi-finals of the competition which will only get harder.
“As you can see from the results so far, the games have been very close since the start of the competition, with some really tight results. The game against South Africa was very physical and was played at a fast pace.Each game that we have played we have learnt different lessons and I think that the last game that we played was our best performance playing against a very strong side and to get the win against them was great.”
Having been left out of the first game of the competition against Ireland, Wade was given his chance to prove a point when he was named in the starting side to face Scotland. After scoring a hat-trick in that game, understandably he was disappointed not to start against South Africa.
“There was slight disappointment when I wasn’t named in the starting side but these kinds of competitions are all about keeping everyone as fresh as possible. We have got a good rotation system going on and everyone is here to have a chance to prove what they can do and I showed what I can do in the Scotland game and it was seen as being best for team for me to start on the bench and make an impact at the latter stages in the game.”
“Obviously everyone wants that starting place and coming on off of the bench I knew that I had a job to do and when I came on I was determined to make an impression. The time that I had on the field I just wanted to get my head down and
use it to set a marker.”
Wade is amongst a quartet of Wasps players in the England U20 squad who all featured in the win against South Africa. All four have impressed throughout the tournament so far but he says that there is a lot more to come from the Wasps representatives.
“I think that the four of us have done well so far. All the boys have had good chances to show their talent have have taken those opportunities. Elliot Daly, who was one of the stand-out performers in the Six Nations competition has continued that form into the World Cup. Sam Jones and Joe Launchbury, who, like myself, didn’t have that much game time in the Six Nations, have really stepped up and shown what they are about. I think that there is a lot more to come from all four of us and hopefully that comes out in the next few games.”
Having reached the semi-finals of the Junior World Championships and having come through three difficult games in the pool stages, Wade says that the emphasis now is on coming into every game as fresh as possible.
“We always take the day after the game off to recover. The day after that we would normally have one-on-one analysis meetings and a training session but now that we have reached the latter stages of the tournament we just had the analysis meetings and have tried to give our bodies more time to relax after three tough games in the pool stages. We are going into the fourth game now and everyone knows what their roles are at this stage. We will then have a team run the day before the game.”
The England U20’s now face France in the semi-finals at the StadioComunale di Monigo in Treviso on Wednesday June 22nd. Wade says that they expect a strong test but that the squad have a confidence that if they play to their capabilities they will get a result out of the game.
“Everyone knows that France will want to show what they can do and that when they perform well they have a lot of flair. We know that they will be good in attack and will be physical at the breakdown and in defence so we just have to stay alert and stand our ground and try to play our own game.”
“There is a good amount of confidence as a team. Coming out with three wins out of three from the group stages is great for us. The good thing is that as a group of players we know that if we perform then we should come away with another win in the semi-finals.”
England U20s play France in the semi-finals of the Junior World Championships on Wednesday, June 22, kick off 5.00pm (UK time). The game will be shown live on Sky Sports 4.