Argentina v England, Buenos Aires, June 15
Yarde is 'ready for his chance'
ESPN Staff
June 14, 2013
England U20s winger Marland Yarde exploits some space, England U20s v Italy U20s, IRB Junior World Championship, University of Western Cape Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa, June 4, 2012
London Irish winger Marland Yarde made his name with England Under-20s © Image SA

England coach Stuart Lancaster has backed debutant Marland Yarde to shine on his Test bow against Argentina in Buenos Aires on Saturday.

The 21-year-old was rewarded for a stand-out season for Premiership side London Irish with selection for England's summer tour and offered yet more promise with an eye-catching display in the non-Test cap clash against the Barbarians - scoring one try and setting up another.

But Lancaster had seen enough before that showing to know that he was ready for the step up. "Marland has shown in training and in the games that he is ready for this chance," Lancaster told PA Sport. "If you look at the stats at the end of the season, and compared all the wingers and back three players, he is right up there in terms of defenders beaten, metres made and line breaks.

"What strikes me about Marland is his work-rate off the ball and his desire to get his hands on the ball. He is not the type of guy who is just going to stand on his wing and wait for the ball to come to him."

Yarde has replaced Strettle and he will be joined in by Bath centre Kyle Eastmond in the youngest English back division since Barrie-Jon Mather and Steve Hanley made their debuts in the defeat by Wales at Wembley in 1999. Eastmond will step up from the bench to make his first England start after Billy Twelvetrees was called up by the British and Irish Lions.

Reflecting on his path to the Test stage, the St Lucia-born Yarde said: "I am massively grateful for the opportunity I have got and I can't wait to make everyone proud who has brought me to this place. I will play with a lot of pride on the weekend.

"I moved to England when was I was nine. I played cricket and I played football until I was 14, so I was quite a late starter in rugby. I got a scholarship at Whitgift School and they were highly driven on sports and I was able to develop my talents there."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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