Sale Sharks’ flyer Paolo Odogwu is hoping to emulate the exploits of Christian Wade, after breaking the Wasps wing’s try record during a Man of the Round performance in the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series.
Odogwu scored eight tries across Sharks' three games on Saturday, including four against his former club Leicester Tigers – one more than Wade managed in the group stage in Coventry last year.
And the 19-year-old wing will have another chance to impress when Sale take on Cardiff Blues in their Singha 7s quarter-final at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry next weekend.
“Wade's a world-class finisher and he’s a similar build to me, so it shows that you don’t have to be tall to play,” said Odogwu.
“Hopefully I can follow in his footsteps, get into the England team, show what I can do and score tries because that’s my job.
“I just wanted to go out and enjoy myself and prove to myself that I can play at this kind of level.
“Of course the weather showed up for me and the track out there meant I could show my best, show my speed and that’s what I did in the end.
“I’m really pleased and it’s nice little achievement to have, but it was more important that we got the win and got through to the next stage.
“Now we can go to the final in Coventry next week and really show what we can do.”
Odogwu didn’t wait long to make his mark at Kingston Park, scoring in the opening game as Sale raced into the lead against Newcastle before Falcons battled back to earn victory.
But it was in the following game that Odogwu began to really showcase his potential with four tries against his former club, before a second sensational hat-trick in the final game against Worcester Warriors.
“It was a bit surreal playing against Leicester, it was the first time that I have,” he admitted.
“But it was obviously nice to be playing against my mates, it was nice to get the win against them and get the bragging rights at the end of the day.
“Hopefully I can make a few Premiership Rugby appearances this season and then see what happens from there.
“I’m still eligible to play in the under-20s so if I can get into that squad again for this season that’ll be good. Hopefully I’ll have an injury free, try-scoring season.”
Quarter Final 1 – Cardiff Blues v Sale Sharks
Quarter Final 2 – Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints
Quarter Final 3 – Harlequins v Wasps
Quarter Final 4 – Newcastle Falcons v Ospreys
Sale Sharks 12 (Rogerson, Odogwu)
Newcastle Falcons 31 (Hodgson, Orr, Catterick, Marshall, Temm)
Leicester Tigers 26 (Olowofela, Tuilagi, Reffell, Brown)
Worcester Warriors 24 (Ainslie, Adams 2, Taylor)
Leicester Tigers 7 (Kerr)
Sale Sharks 55 (Odogwu 4, Mitchell, Rogerson, Curry 2)
Newcastle Falcons 21 (Catterick, Marshall, Radwan)
Worcester Warriors 24 (Adams 3, Hill)
Sale Sharks 31 (Scott, Odogwu 3, Mitchell)
Worcester Warriors 0
Leicester Tigers 17 (Kerr, Hardwick, Yawayaya)
Newcastle Falcons 26 (Hodgson 2, Marshall, Temm)
Eight teams will play for the first silverware of the season in the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series Finals from 2pm at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry on Sunday 7 August. Click here for tickets.