London Irish winger Marland Yarde focused on club form
By Chris Burton. Last Updated: 21/03/13 12:25pm
London Irish winger Marland Yarde claims to be focused on his club form amid mounting calls for him to join the England set-up.
At just 20 years of age, the Exiles youngster has developed at pace in 2012/13.
His club coach, Brian Smith, has suggested that Yarde is a more complete player than Saracens flyer Chris Ashton and feels he would be more deserving of an international start.
Yarde, though, appreciates that he still has a lot to learn and that he needs to impress consistently for Irish if he is to be considered by Stuart Lancaster.
He told Sky Sports: "It's definitely something that I would love to do, but at the moment I'm not focusing on it. I have got a job here at London Irish. I will just work as hard as I can and at the end of the season if the opportunity arises I will happily take it with both hands, but at the moment my mentality is just focused on London Irish.
"Talk doesn't get you there, it's your performances on the field. That's all I can focus on, working as hard as I can on and off the field. If that's good enough at the end of the day, then I will take the opportunity. At the moment I am just focusing on working hard and seeing where that takes me.
"I am in no way the finished article, I have still got a lot of things to work on. I am still only 20 years old, so I have got a long time to go. It's a really exciting time for me and I just want to keep my feet firmly on the ground and work as hard as I can. I'm sure if I do that, other things will take care of themselves."
Yarde is pleased with the form he has shown this season, in what has been a difficult campaign for all concerned at the Madejski Stadium.
He said: "I was unfortunate enough to have an ankle injury earlier in the season, but I have come back a lot stronger. Fair play to the team, they have really turned things around and allowed me to perform to my best. But there are a lot of challenges to come, so there isn't time to rest on your laurels and focus on your personal game. It's all about the team and I will work as hard as I can to make sure I help them to get up the table."
On the struggles which have seen Irish locked in an Aviva Premiership basement battle, he added: "It was tough for us at the start of the season, but the second half has turned around and we have put in some really good performances during a challenging period for us. We are just taking each week as it comes, looking to play as well as we can and we know if we do that, then we give ourselves every chance of winning."
"Talk doesn't get you there, it's your performances on the field. That's all I can focus on, working as hard as I can on and off the field. If that's good enough at the end of the day, then I will take the opportunity."
Yarde feels Irish can take plenty of positives into the final few weeks of the season, with their run-in set to see them take in crucial fixtures with fellow strugglers Worcester, Sale and London Welsh.
He said: "They are all sides that are around us. We back our home form, we are going really well at home and have beaten Saracens and Wasps recently. We know that if we play well, this could be a real fortress for us. We respect every team, but we just have to focus on ourselves and do what we can and play as well as can."
On the St Patrick's Day party game with the Warriors on Saturday, he added: "I had the privilege to play in it last year and it was a really thrilling day. It's a big tradition here and a day that everyone looks forward to in the calendar. It's a massive responsibility on the players and coaches to deliver on the day."
Yarde is hoping to deliver the goods between now and the end of the season and is confident that he can form part of a brighter future of the Exiles.
He said: "We have still got a lot of good players and a few more have signed on for next season already. I'm not looking too far ahead to next season, we are focused on the job in hand. We have got five challenging games to come and will take each one as it comes and try to do as well as we can.
"I think it's just about the whole team gelling together and working really hard for each other. At the end of the season we will review what's gone right and what's gone wrong, but at the moment we are just focused on doing as well as we can."
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