- Young wing looks to build on prolific year for London Irish
- “I’ve worked hard this season and I can’t wait to take that onto the field” – Yarde
Marland Yarde is eager to convert his excellent domestic form into an assured display on his first England appearance against the Barbarians at Twickenham this Sunday.
One of nine players under the age of 24 in an exciting match-day squad, 21 year-old Yarde starts alongside former England Under 20 teammates Joe Launchbury, Matt Kvesic and Christian Wade.
And off the back of a breakthrough season for London Irish that showcased his fine finishing skills – returning seven tries in 24 games across all competitions on the way to a Supporters’ Club’s Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year double – the wing wants to make an immediate impression at international level.
“I’ve worked really hard this season and I can’t wait to take that onto the field,” he said. “The first half of the year for Irish was very difficult but at the turn of the year we really got our thoughts together and performed a lot better as a team.
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“Evidently that helped me as a player as well – I was able to string together some good performances. As a whole, I was pleased with how the year went, but it’s over now and it’s down to England.
“[The selection of young players] shows if you play well then you will get your chance. I’ve played with Matt Kvesic throughout the age-groups and it’s good to see him here as well. We’re both really excited to be playing on Sunday.”
Highlighted by Stuart Lancaster as a pacey, powerful asset, Yarde should thrive in the attack-orientated atmosphere of this weekend’s match, which serves as a fine-tuning exercise prior to the tour of South America.
Indeed, while admitting that the presence of Wade, David Strettle and Jonny May will generate plenty of jostling for places in the lead-up to the two-Test series against Argentina, the confident Exile suggested that coming into the England set-up has been made relatively straightforward.
“It’s very self-driven – the guys who have been around before know the moves well and it’s up to me to catch up as quickly as I can,” added. “Fair play to the lads – they have made it quite easy for me to join in.
"The others in my position are good players who have done well this season, too. There’s a lot of competition but you can only focus on yourself and what you can do. Hopefully I can make an impression on Sunday.”