Hopes that Christian Wade could make a return to rugby were raised by fellow former Wasps winger Tom Varndell.

Shockwaves were sent through rugby union in 2018 when Wade retired from the sport to pursue a career in American Football.

He enjoyed a fast start Stateside after progressing through the NFL’s International Player Pathway before being drafted by the Buffalo Bills in April 2019.

With his first touch of a ball in his new sport in a pre-season game, Wade scored a 65-yard touchdown to raise hopes of rising from the practice squad into the main roster.

But Covid impacted his opportunities in 2020 before suffering a serious shoulder injury that required surgery in August 2021.

On April 1, BillsWire reported that Wade had been cut by the Bills although that wasn’t confirmed on the NFL side’s official website – although Wade did send a tweet a few days prior to that report suggesting his future was uncertain: ‘Is no news, good news”, he wrote on March 16.

Wade walked away from rugby union when he was third in the all-time tryscorer list with 82 but seemed destined to record the 11 tries needed to move ahead of former team-mate Varndell.

Speaking to our sister title LeicestershireLive about losing his record to Leicester Tigers winger Chris Ashton in Saturday’s 56-26 victory over Bristol Bears, Varndell gave hope to Wade’s return from gridiron.

“Christian was in unbelievable form when he stepped away from rugby union,” said Varndell, who is now an agent for Elite Athlete Management. “Obviously, there are rumours that are circulating. I am very close to Chris anyway, with everything that’s going on with the NFL at the moment and him being released by the Bills, watch this space, because you just never know, he might pop back up and I might end up being third place in a couple of years’ time.”

Wade approached the topic of a possible return to rugby in a Mail On Sunday interview in March when he said: ‘I’ve had offers all the time since I’ve been over here. But rugby is not really on the cards for me.”

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