Rugby Union

Christian Wade exclusive: I wasn't fast enough as a kid

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If Christian Wade was not still suffering with ligament damage in his foot, many would expect the 23-year-old to be heading down to New Zealand with the rest of the England squad, to take on the mighty All Blacks.

And if Wade was not a professional rugby player, many of you would expect him to be preparing to sprint at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. 

But according to the Wasps winger, he was never quick enough for the track.  In an exclusive interview with GiveMeSport, Wade revealed: "I got my quickest time in the 100m, when I was 16. I ran a 10.82, which was quite fast, but was not fast enough at the time, and is not fast enough now. 

"I was running against guys who were 15-16 years old and they were running 10.5, so I was still coming last in all the races.

"But I don't think I would have ever chosen athletics, I don't like the fact that it is based on individuals. I've always liked playing with a team, where everyone has their individual roles, and they work to produce a result."

This will certainly come as a surprise to the rugby world. But Wade has already proved that, while he may have struggled as a teenager on the track, on the pitch, he rarely fails to get on the outside of defences.

Wade's devastating pace and fast feet have enabled him to torture Premiership defences, and after countless first-hand experiences, the winger agrees that speed, not size, is a rugby player's most deadly weapon. 

"Speed is harder to defend against, if you can't catch someone it is impossible. It is all about technique when you are trying to take down size, if someone is pretty big then they probably are not that stable. You can always get stronger, but you can't always get faster."

But for those of you that want to get faster, English rugby's speediest specimen has some left so valuable tips. 

"You need to do repeated sprints. I found that with every athletics competition, I was getting faster and faster and it was because I was doing repeated sprints. Your muscles learn how to turn over really quickly, it's all about muscle memory.

 "Accompany that with ladder work, long-distance stuff and plyometrics to make sure you are pretty powerful."

Christian Wade was answering questions for fans of his official Facebook page.

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England Rugby
Christian Wade
London Wasps
Rugby Union

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