Mixed emotions for Yarde

Date published: April 29 2016

Harlequins wing Marland Yarde is set to condemn his old club London Irish to relegation if they beat them in their Premiership clash on Sunday.

A win at the Majedski Stadium for Quins, who are currently seventh on the Premiership table, will keep their hopes alive of finishing in the top six, which will secure them automatic qualification for the Champions Cup.

The Exiles meanwhile must beat Harlequins and hope Saracens beat Newcastle by a big margin if they want to avoid the drop to the Championship.

Yarde, who joined Irish as a 14-year-old before moving to Quins in 2014, admits that he will have mixed emotions when he lines up against his former club on Sunday. 

“A part of my heart will always be with Irish and it is very disappointing to see them in this position, particularly with the quality of players in their squad," he told the London Evening Standard.

“There must be something that isn’t transferring from the training ground onto the pitch on match days and it will be tough for them. 

“I am sure, with the facilities they have and the back-room staff, that if they do go down, I can see them coming straight back up. They are a big club and Irish should not be in the Championship. 

"They did lose a lot of quality players all at once but with the talent coming through their academy it is only a matter of time before they’e right back up there.”

Yarde is desperate to do well against his former team as he wants to win a place in England’s squad for their tour to Australia in June.

“When you are trying to get into the squad everyone will do whatever they can to get on that tour," he added.

"You cannot afford to slip up once with the quality of wings pushing for selection."

Harlequins can also gain automatic qualification for the Champions Cup if they beat Montpellier in the Challenge Cup Final in Lyon on May 13.