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Christian Wade set for shock Wasps exit in a bid to play in the NFL

The Guardian logo The Guardian 19/10/2018 Gerard Meagher

Christian Wade scores against Gloucester at the Ricoh Arena in the Premiership but the wing looks set to leave rugby union. © Getty Images Christian Wade scores against Gloucester at the Ricoh Arena in the Premiership but the wing looks set to leave rugby union. Christian Wade appears set for a remarkable career change to American football after it emerged he is leaving Wasps to pursue a future in the NFL on Thursday night/last night.

The 27-year-old winger has 82 Premiership tries to his name, placing him third on the all time list, but is reportedly the latest rugby union player to attempt to make the transition to NFL.

Alex Gray, who captained Wade at under-20 level at the Junior World Cup in 2011, has made the switch to Atlanta Falcons while Christian Scotland-Williamson has done likewise from Worcester Warriors to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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Wade’s move however, is a bolt from the blue and he is now the highest profile player to attempt to make the transition.

He has one England cap to his name, won in 2013 against Argentina, and he went on to join the British & Irish Lions tour of Australia later that summer, but despite his prolific record Wade has been unable to convince Eddie Jones of his talents and has recently been linked with a lucrative move to France.

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His fleetness of foot sets him apart and would appear to be well suited to American football but it is a huge gamble and one that leaves Wasps without their most potent finisher. It may however, be offset with the arrival of the All Black centre Malakai Fekitoa, who is currently at Toulon but is linked with a move to Wasps.

Rugby Union - Premiership - Sale Sharks v Wasps - AJ Bell Stadium, Salford, Britain - September 22, 2018   Wasps' Christian Wade   Action Images/John Clifton © Reuters Rugby Union - Premiership - Sale Sharks v Wasps - AJ Bell Stadium, Salford, Britain - September 22, 2018 Wasps' Christian Wade Action Images/John Clifton  Fekitoa last represented New Zealand in June 2017, against the Lions, and is a former Highlanders team-mate of the Wasps fly-half Lima Sopoaga.


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