Wasps director of rugby Dai Young is confident that winger Christian Wade is more than capable of earning selection for a second Lions tour after his impressive showing against Northampton Saints.
Wade scored a fine individual score early in the second half, to take his tally to 15 in the Aviva Premiership Rugby this season, as Wasps beat Saints 32-30 at the Ricoh Arena.
Wasps, who have already qualified for the semi-finals, remain top of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table after the win but needed a late Matt Mullan score to get over the line.
And after another impressive performance from Wade, who was an injury call-up for the Lions in 2013, Young is confident the winger is amongst the best England has to offer.
“It would be a big old plane if every coach got their wish for their players to tour,” said Young. “But all Christian can do is keep on doing what he’s doing.
“There’s quality wingers in England but for me Wadey’s right up there. The more we get the ball in his hands the more chance we have of winning.
“I’m delighted he’s a Wasps player and I’d be really pleased if he went on a tour this summer.”
“I wouldn’t swap Christian for anybody, people talk about his defensive frailties but that was a couple of years ago.
“Warren Gatland’s got an extensive knowledge of all players, so I’d be surprised if he doesn’t know his strengths and I’d be very surprised if he wasn’t looking at him seriously for the Lions.”
— Wasps (@WaspsRugby) April 9, 2017
In a rollercoaster match, the Saints led at 18-13 at half-time after tries from Ben Foden, Alex Waller and George North with Elliot Daly’s score keeping Wasps in contention.
Further scores from Ahsee Tuala and Teimana Harrison ensured the Saints left with two bonus points but coach Jim Mallinder felt his side could easily have won the game.
“I thought the team played really well. Our attacking play was good and we defended for our lives at times.
“There are always going to be line breaks by Wasps, who have good players and are going to put you under pressure, and on another day we could have won that game.
“Little things add up to a narrow loss,” Jim tells the press pic.twitter.com/TtEb6Nso9g
— Northampton Saints (@SaintsRugby) April 9, 2017
“There were a few things that could have gone our way, and to lose in the final play of the game – again – was very disappointing.
“We are going in the right direction and are not going to give up. We’ve got Saracens at home in Milton Keynes next week and hopefully we can get a win.”
A mere five points separates the teams from fourth to seventh … this one will go down to the final round https://t.co/GzfVAzTvhb
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) April 9, 2017
Wasps: Le Roux, Wade, Daly, Beale, Bassett, Gopperth, Simpson (Robson 53), Mullan, Taylor (Cruse 64), Swainston (Doran-Jones 61), Launchbury (c), Myall (Symons 56), Johnson (Hughes 46), Young, Thompson.
Northampton Saints: Tuala (K Pisi 72), North, Tuitavake (Burrell 64), Mallinder, Foden, Myler, Groom (Dickson 66), A Waller (E Waller 66), Hartley (Haywood 61), Brookes (Hill 53), Lawes, Ribbans (Ratuniyarawa 68), Gibson, Wood (c) (Harrison 61), Picamoles
Tries: Daly, Wade, Simpson, Mullan
Conversions: Gopperth 3
Penalties: Gopperth 2
Northampton Saints 30
Tries:Foden, Waller, North, Tuala, Harrison
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
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