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Page last updated at 10:08 GMT, Wednesday, 24 August 2011 11:08 UK

Marland Yarde targets London Irish breakthrough

Marland Yarde
Yarde appeared for England U20 during the recent World Cup in Italy

London Irish back Marland Yarde says the World Cup period is a chance for him to claim a first-team place.

The Exiles will be without seven players during the World Cup and Yarde, 19, aims to make the most of it.

He told BBC Berkshire: "It's definitely a good chance for me but I'm not trying to get too far ahead of myself.

"Hopefully come September I'm in the squad. When the World Cup boys come back I can give them a real go for their positions."

Yarde was plagued by an ankle injury last year which kept him out for four months.

He has been with the club since joining its academy, aged 15.

Yarde was a promising schoolboy footballer who captained Middlesex Under 16s and had a brief spell with QPR

Last season another product of the academy, Jonathan Joseph, made the breakthrough into the first team and Yarde hopes to follow his example.

"JJ did really well last year - he was top try scorer after the first three months or so, so that's definitely a step in the right direction," he said.

"I'm not saying I'm trying to mimic him. I'm just trying to concentrate on my own game and hopefully all the work that's gone - with the coaches, myself and my family - all comes to fruit in the next few weeks, hopefully in the Premiership".

Yarde is the latest in a long line of academy products at London Irish, including England internationals Delon Armitage, Nick Kennedy, David Paice and Topsy Ojo.

He believes the reasons behind the success are simple.

"The guys here are really committed. They work hard, they come in at 8am doing gym work and maximising themselves and it all shows on match day," he said.

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