London Irish keen on retaining O’Connor and Yarde

Brian Smith, the Director of Rugby of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the London Irish has admitted that he feels confident that England winger Marland Yarde will extend his stay at the club and has also revealed that the club is also keen on retaining the services of Australian James O’Connor beyond this current season.

O’Connor signed for the English club on a season long deal just in October and has impressed one and all since making his debut but he has also been spotted in Toulon with widespread reports claiming that he is keen on joining his international teammates Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell and the Heineken Cup champions at the end of the season.

Despite all this, Smith is confident that both Yarde and O’Connor will extend their stays at the London Irish with both of their contracts up at the end of the season.

He stated that the club is making a massive effort to keep those big guns in the back three and added that it would be immense for the club to hold on to those players and it would be like a first prize as far as the Exiles are concerned. He mentioned that he is working his socks off with the boys in training before adding that he is also the Director of Rugby and things like recruitment of players, their retention as well as squad planning has got him working 27×7.

Smith mentioned that when he first came to the club, he looked at the contract situation of Yarde who had just returned from a tour with the Under-20s, a time when he wasn’t on the radar of Stuart Lancaster but he managed to spot his talent and kept him at the club adding the London Irish excel in youth development.