Why Adam Radwan may be England's most exciting wing since Jonny May

·4 min read
Why Adam Radwan may be England’s most exciting wing since Jonny May - GETTY IMAGES
Why Adam Radwan may be England’s most exciting wing since Jonny May - GETTY IMAGES

When Eddie Jones named his 45-man England training squad for the new season, it was hard for any of the new names to stand out, given the scale of fresh blood that the head coach hopes to get his hands on.

Many of the lesser known names starred for England during the summer, and one of those was undoubtedly the Newcastle Falcons wing Adam Radwan

Scoring a hat-trick of tries on debut, even if it is against Canada, is a good way to go about grabbing the attention of Jones, and he has not let up this season in trying to force his way into the Australian’s first XV plan.

Radwan finds himself in one of England’s best-stocked positions, with the national team never short on options out wide with a blend of players that offer different styles and attacking threats.

But there are certain aspects of Radwan’s game that suggest he has the potential that is worth keeping a close eye on over the course of the next few weeks ahead of the autumn internationals.

Robust and low centre of gravity

At a time when so much is made of the trend for monster wings, such as Bath’s 17st 9lb, 6ft 4in colossus Joe Cokanasiga, there is something refreshing about Radwan’s rise since making his England debut in the summer.

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Radwan, in contrast, could be considered diminutive by today’s standards at 5ft 8in, but one key to his success - including his try-scoring performance on Saturday in Newcastle’s win over Bath - is his low centre of gravity. 

Weighing in at 13st 8lbs, Radwan is naturally robust that allows him to do the dirty work to a high standard as well as dazzle on the wing.

The 23-year-old made three successful tackles, missing one other against Bath, but perhaps a more impressive statistic came in securing two turnovers for his side, which was no doubt aided by his powerful physique.

Natural attacker

Where Radwan has made his name, undoubtedly, is as a natural attacker. As demonstrated in the two Premiership fixtures he has played so far this season, he has beaten 13 defenders - a number that is second only behind Charles Piutau. 

It is worth noting that Radwan should not be perceived as an overnight success story but perhaps went under the radar to some due to Falcons spending the 2019/20 season in the Championship where his try-scoring ability was key in his side’s promotion. 

And so, unsurprisingly, after a run of seven tries in 11 games last season which led to his first England call-up, he is once again among the top of the charts when it comes to attacking attacking rugby this season. 

He has four clean breaks alongside fellow England up-and-comers Louis Lynagh, Freddie Steward and Joe Marchant, as well as Fijian veteran Nemani Nadolo.

Adam Radwan scored a hat-trick on his England debut - GETTY IMAGES
Adam Radwan scored a hat-trick on his England debut - GETTY IMAGES

The timing is right

It is important not to get caught up in hyperbole when attempting to predict the chances of a young player reaching their full potential but one thing Radwan has on his side is his age profile.

As Eddie Jones goes about revamping his squad for the next World Cup, a generation of great wings and back-three players are facing a pivotal moment. Anthony Watson, Jack Nowell, Jonny May and Elliot Daly are all well into their second World Cup cycle at the very least, with a sudden desire for fresh blood. 

Of that cohort Watson is still head and shoulders above the rest, May has had recent issues with injury and form but should continue on while Nowell with all his unique talents has suffered a string of injuries while Daly’s best starting position remains an unknown. 

With a new generation of England back-three players ready to break through, the timing combined with his standout attributes gives reason to get excited about his future. 

Radwan announced his arrival in the Premiership in supreme style last season when he outpaced Jonny May on the outside when Newcastle faced Gloucester. Now, with his current trajectory, he may just be the man to replace him.

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