Planet Rugby

Irish close to securing Yarde

20th November 2013 09:22

Share:

marland yarde

Talks: Marland Yarde

London Irish boss Brian Smith has revealed that England winger Marland Yarde is close to signing a new contract with the club.

Yarde has scored six tries in six matches for London Irish so far this season and started for England in the win over Australia, before missing out against Argentina and New Zealand due to injury.

The 21-year-old's contract expires at the end of the current season, with Irish keen to tie down their academy product after previously losing Matt Garvey, Jonathan Joseph, Anthony Watson and more to other clubs.

"A couple of league wins wouldn't hurt, that would get us across the line - if we picked up those last two wins it would probably be a done deal," Smith told BBC Radio Berkshire.

"Conversations [with Yarde] started the moment I got here. We sat down straight away and started talks about how we could upgrade and extend his contract.

"I got here and looked at Marland's contract when he'd just got back from an U20s tour. At that stage he wasn't really on [England head coach] Stuart Lancaster's radar but we identified him here as a talent.

"Things have been moving in a really, really positive direction.

"One strength of our club is we can help showcase his talent. We have half-backs that can distribute the ball to him, the team has an appetite to play and we have a desire to build game plans around key players. And he is one of our key players."

Irish have also opened talks to keep stay Wallaby signing James O'Connor at the club beyond the end of this season, despite the 23-year-old being linked with a move to Toulon and back to Australia.

"The club is making a massive effort to keep those two big guns in the back three," added Smith.

"It would be nice to hold onto James O'Connor and Marland - that is clearly first prize for the club. I'm working my socks off on the coaching side of things, but I'm director of rugby and stuff like recruitment, retention and squad planning has got me working 24/7."

Smith also revealed that following the positive injection of O'Connor's talent into the squad, Irish are currently looking for a similar high-billing signing in their tight five.

"We are clearly looking to add to that sort of quality, particularly to the tight five," Smith added.

"What we are look to do is make sure that going forward we are two deep in all those key tight-five positions, so that if our start player is out there is not big drop off in production."

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Heineken Cup
Saturday , April 26
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:40
Sunday , April 27
Toulon vs Munster15:30
More Heineken Cup fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 26
Glasgow vs Edinburgh19:05
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs Harlequins20:00
Sunday , April 27
Wasps vs Bath13:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs Waratahs17:35
Brumbies vs Chiefs17:40
Sharks vs Highlanders19:10
Saturday , April 26
Hurricanes vs Reds19:35
Western Force vs Bulls17:40
Cheetahs vs Stormers17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton 36 - 21 London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Report
Newcastle 18 - 23 SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Cardiff Blues 17 - 13 ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 10 - 20 Ospreys
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Connacht 23 - 32 MunsterConnacht vs Munster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens2080
2Northampton2071
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058