London Irish’s Marland Yarde expects to be a marked man

Marland Yarde is focused on helping London Irish keep hold of their J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s crown

Marland Yarde can now boast to be an England Test try-scorer but the winger insists that is all in the past as he turns his attention to helping London Irish keep hold of their J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s crown.

While London Irish might have endured a difficult time of things last season – flirting with relegation before ending the Aviva Premiership season ninth – the same cannot be said for Yarde.

The 21-year-old’s impressive performances, that saw him score seven tries in 22 appearances, led to a debut England call-up against Argentina in which he marked the occasion by scoring twice.

While this was undoubtedly the highlight of a flourishing career so far, Yarde is not about to rest on his laurels and insists the slate has been wiped clean ahead of the new campaign.

And while London Irish’s assault will start without Yarde in this year’s J.P. Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s, the man in question is still eager to help out in anyway he can ahead of the Aviva Premiership season getting underway.

“I am not playing in this year’s J.P. Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s because I have a niggling knee injury but I am looking forward to it and hopefully seeing London Irish defend our title,” said Yarde, who helped the Exiles life the 2012 trophy with a thrilling 31-28 final victory over Gloucester Rugby.

“Last year was a tough tournament but we came through it in the end and won. It was a big building block for us towards the start of the season.

“I was thinking of England in the summer and was focusing on Argentina but now I’m focusing on playing as well as I can for London Irish again.

“It was humbling to get the call-up and to achieve my first cap was massive for me I wanted to take the game into my stride and work hard and take what I’ve done last season into the match.

“I was really pleased that it came off and at the end of the match I was really happy with the way my performance went.”

If Yarde was somewhat of an unknown identity last season then that is no longer the case after last year’s heroics.

But the speedster insists that knowing about him is one thing, catching him is a completely different matter.

“I’ve always said no one puts more pressure on me then I put pressure on myself to perform to the best of my ability week in week out,” he added.

“There will probably be more pressure than in the past years now but I just want to work as hard as I can for London Irish and try to improve each season.”

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