Marland Yarde: Harlequins debut against Exiles will be 'strange'

Marland Yarde
Yarde joined London Irish's Academy, aged 14

Wing Marland Yarde says it will be an odd experience making his Harlequins debut against former club London Irish.

The 22-year-old England international joined Quins from the Exiles this summer and is set to feature in Saturday's double-header at Twickenham.

"It is slightly strange, playing against the only team I have ever known," Yarde told BBC London 94.9.

"I will have to put my personal affairs aside and focus on playing as well as I can for Harlequins."

St Lucia-born Yarde came through the London Irish Academy and, after making his first-team debut in November 2010, went on to score 13 tries in 40 league appearances for the club.

"It is professional rugby and my job is to help this team win," he added.

"All the hard work has been done and I think the guys just want to get on with it and put down a marker."

Yarde targets silverware with Harlequins
"From a collective point of view, the recent successes we have had throughout the years shows the club demands trophies. That is why I came, I want to win."

Quins reached the semi-final stage of the Premiership and the Challenge Cup last season - and failed to get out of their LV= Cup group.

Having won three trophies in three seasons before the 2013-14 campaign, Yarde's ambition is to help the south west London outfit win silverware following his move to the Twickenham Stoop.

"From a collective point of view, the recent successes we have had throughout the years shows the club demands trophies," he said.

"The players are no different and that is why I came, I want to win.

"The club has got fantastic players and that gives you extra incentive to make sure you train hard and put performances in. There is always another guy who wants to step in and do well.

Marland Yarde
Yarde started all three matches of England's tour of New Zealand this summer, scoring two tries

"It is going to be an exciting season ahead, especially with the World Cup at the end."

Yarde says the Quins squad, who are now captained by prop forward Joe Marler, are relishing the start of the season and are eager to improve as a team.

"The guys have trained really well over the last few weeks and it is about putting it on the field now," he said.

"We want to maintain how we have been playing over the last few years and try to be even better. We have shown glimpses of that in pre-season games.

"We can't wait to get the season under way."

Interview with Marland Yarde by BBC London 94.9's Jeanette Kwakye.