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Wasps identify ideal replacement for Wade at Premiership rivals

By Neil Fissler

WASPS have put Gabriel Ibitoye, one of the most exciting wing talents in the Northern Hemisphere, at the top of their wanted list to replace Christian Wade.

Ibitoye, 20, is out of contract with Harlequins at the end of the season and is yet to agree a new deal to remain at the Twickenham Stoop beyond the summer.

He was the stand-out attacking threat for England at the U20 World Cup in the summer, a year after being shortlisted for the Player of the Tournament award.

Ibitoye has already caught the eye of England coach Eddie Jones who invited him to train with the senior England squad at their pre-season training camp in August.

It is little surprise that Dai Young believes he is the best long term replacement available for NFL-bound Wade, who was out of contract at the end of the season.

Young, however, will face plenty of competition from other Premiership clubs with Gloucester, Worcester Warriors and Northampton Saints also interested in signing Ibitoye.

But because he is on an academy contract they will have to wait until April 1 to open talks instead of New Year’s Day as is the case with players on senior deals.

Meanwhile, Young is set to seal a deal for former All Black Malakai Fekitoa from Toulon next season after seeing off Northampton Saints.

Fekitoa is poised to put pen to paper on a deal that will see him link up with former Highlanders team mate Lima Sopoaga at the Ricoh Arena next season.

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