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Wasps confirm Wade's retirement from rugby amid NFL links

The 27-year-old has been released from his contract on confidential terms.

Wade scored 82 Premiership tries.
Wade scored 82 Premiership tries.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

WASPS WINGER CHRISTIAN Wade has announced his retirement from rugby union amid continued reports the England international is seeking a move into American football.

The 27-year-old – the third-most prolific try-scorer in Premiership history — has been released from his Wasps contract on confidential terms, the club said in a statement this evening.

Wade, who has won one England cap, is reportedly pursuing a career in the NFL bia the league’s International Player Pathway Programme.

“After playing nine years of professional sport for Wasps, I’ve decided to leave for personal reasons,” he said.

“I would like to thank Wasps Chairman Derek Richardson and Dai [Young, director of rugby] for their support, consideration and understanding in what is the most difficult decision of my life.

“I have loved the sport since I was introduced to it at the Royal Grammar School in High Wycombe. I would therefore like to thank everyone who has played a part in shaping my career.

“Rugby has privileged and honoured me with so many wonderful memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

“Finally, I want to thank my Wasps family: the Club, my team mates and especially the fans – you have always been superb to me.

I wish everyone here all the very best for the future.

Wade did not feature in either of Wasps’ opening Heineken Champions Cup games, the crushing defeat to Leinster and 35-35 draw with Bath, amid the reports.

His sole international cap came against Argentina in 2013, and the flying winger has reportedly grown increasingly frustrated at being overlooked by head coach Eddie Jones.

Should he land a deal in American football, he would follow in the footsteps of former England Sevens international Alex Gray and ex-Worcester Warriors lock Christian Scotland-Williamson in swapping rugby union for the NFL. 

Young added: “It’s very disappointing to lose a player of Wadey’s quality at this stage of the season.

The Club held numerous discussions with him to try and convince him to keep pushing forward with Wasps, but in the end it was clear this is the path he wished to go down.

“The Club nevertheless wants to wish him all the best with his future career path and put on record our thanks for the contribution Christian has made to Wasps Rugby.” 

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Ryan Bailey

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