England wing Christian Wade joins the British & Irish Lions squad in Australia
England wing Christian Wade and centre Brad Barritt have been called up by the British & Irish Lions.
Last Updated: 16/06/13 12:40am
The Lions have concerns over the fitness of wing George North, who has a tight hamstring, while centre Jamie Roberts suffered a suspected hamstring injury in their victory over the NSW Waratahs.
Wade, who made his Test debut in a 32-3 victory over the Argentina last weekend, was due to play for England against Pumas on Saturday but will depart Buenos Aires and arrive in Australia on Monday. He has been replaced in the England side by Jonny May.
The Lions have also called up Barritt - who was rested from England's tour to South America - as cover for Roberts, who will have a scan on his leg injury on Monday.
The Lions have already summoned prop Alex Corbisiero and centre Billy Twelvetrees to Australia from England's South American tour.
Lions head coach Warren Gatland said: "We have obviously got ongoing treatment of some players so it's prudent to make sure we have enough backline cover. Christian played well in the first Test against Argentina and is match fit."
Wade, 22, scored 18 tries in 26 appearances for Wasps last season and claimed a unique double at the Rugby Players' Association awards, winning both the players' player and the young player awards.
Wade did not score himself on his England debut last weekend but he had a hand in all three of the team's first-half tries, delivering an eye-catching performance in the process.
Wade has been preferred to the likes of Chris Ashton, who has been rested from England's summer tour, and Scotland's Tim Visser to give the injury-hit Lions additional back line options.
England coach Stuart Lancaster said: "We're delighted for Christian. He's been in excellent form, played really well on his Test debut against Argentina last weekend and he goes with the best wishes of all the England players and management."