While his England teammates gear up for their clash with Australia, Christian Wade will be down the pub. Twenty-four hours before the ball is kicked, Christian will be offering his insights and opinions at our Rugby World Cup Q&A at the Men United Arms (formerly The George, Twickenham). In this exclusive preview, he tells us how it felt to be left out of the side and why he’s signed for Men United.
“It was a bit of a shock when I didn’t make the fifty-man squad. I wanted some answers. I didn’t feel that they were giving enough answers, but nonetheless I had the opportunity to play in the Barbarians game to try and stake my claim again, which I did, but it still wasn’t enough.
“I was told to just continue training with the Wasps pre-season and kind of see what happens in the build-up, because obviously you’re going to get injuries. That could have been an opportunity to get in the squad.
“But now, my focus has changed and I’m well in to pre-season with Wasps. I’m working towards the new season; making sure that I’m fit and ready to go.
“I wish the team well. We’ve got some great players and I’m sure they will do well in front of their home crowd. It’s heart-breaking that I’m not able to be a part of it but there’ll always be other opportunities later on down the line. You’ve got to move on and keep working.”
“The team’s looking really good actually, the boys are really enthusiastic. I know it’s been a long old pre-season. We’ve got high expectations and there’s been a standard set of us, which is basically to be in that top six, every season. That’s the level we need to be performing at on the training park and out on the pitch.
“Also, it’s going to be our second year in the European Champions Cup. We got to the quarter-finals last year and put out a good performance against Toulon but just not quite good enough. We’ve got some new players who bolstered the last squad and improved it as well. Everything’s shaping up nicely and all the boys are just keen to get out there now.
Christian is keen to raise awareness about prostate cancer after he heard David Kurk, matchday host at London Wasps and former Premiership referee, had been diagnosed with the disease. David, who will be hosting our Q&A with Christian, told the team about the risk they face. Thankfully, after undergoing a prostatectomy, David has been given the all clear and Christian is keen to help him raise awareness.
“It was a bit of a shock when he told us about it,” says Christian. “The surgery he had to undergo was quite a tricky one but he’s got that kind of focus and that attitude and that personality about him. I reckon that’s probably helped him through it and obviously the support from us guys and his family as well. He’s pretty much back to normal; the operation went well. He’s alive and kicking and still giving his one-liners and being smart with us with his jokes.
“With prostate cancer, I know that sometimes you wouldn’t know that it’s there, and even if you don’t have any kind of symptoms or fears, you should go and get it checked. All I know it’s more prevalent in Black men (1 in 4 Black men will get prostate cancer) which is something that I took an interest in. In my family, there’s me and brother and my dad, so when you add my cousin or something, that’s four of us and one of us could have it. The stats are pretty alarming.”
You can meet Christian and David and ask them your own question at The George, Twickenham on Friday 2 October at our Men United World Cup Q&A. Get your tickets.