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O'Shea expects Yarde England return

Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea believes it is only a matter of time before Marland Yarde is restored to the England fold.

Yarde excelled in Saturday's roller-coaster 29-26 Aviva Premiership victory over Gloucester at Twickenham Stoop and scored the crucial try in the 70th minute by finishing a line-out catch and drive.

The 22-year-old wing won the last of his seven caps as a replacement last autumn, but was overlooked by England throughout the RBS 6 Nations.

"I sat down with one of the New Zealand coaches who was over for their tour in the autumn," O'Shea said.

"They talked about the problems Marland had caused the All Blacks last summer and could not understand how a player of his athleticism and physicality isn't actually still in the team.

"We've had a difficult year, but anyone who has watched him will know he's been absolutely outstanding. Yes he makes mistakes but that's because he gets his hands on the ball and tries.

"When we get back to winning he will get recognition again. When the going gets tough, he gets going. I feel for him because our difficulties have impacted on him."

Victory over Gloucester saw Quins remain in eighth place in the Premiership and retain hope of qualifying for Europe through the play-off that could be the reward for finishing in seventh.

"Twelve weeks ago we were two points off the top four, had beaten Leicester with a bonus point win and were top of our Champions Cup pool, but between injuries and unavailability we've had a really difficult time," O'Shea said.

"It was never going to be easy for us but you can't buy the spirit and resolve we showed out there. It was difficult at times but our heads never went down. The fight we showed was incredible.

"We'll go to the bitter end for Europe and we know we're up against it and will have to win our three games starting with Sale next. That will decide whether we can get back into the play-offs.

"But even then Gloucester could win the Challenge Cup and there'd be no route through seventh place in the Premiership."

O'Shea revealed there was no change in the condition of concussed full-back Mike Brown, who has played only one match since being knocked out while on England duty against Italy in February.

"How long's a piece of string? He could be symptom free tomorrow and we all hope he is," O'Shea said.

"He'll be fine and there's no question of a long-term problem, it's just a question of when he is fully symptom free."

Gloucester boss David Humphreys felt his team contributed to their downfall after leading 18-11 in the 49th minute when wing Charlie Sharples crossed.

"We lacked discipline in the second half. Credit to Quins because they turned us over in midfield and took every chance that came their way," Humphreys said.

"It feels like we've repeatedly been in this pattern, talking about the what-ifs and maybes. We just weren't good enough against them."


From Belfast Telegraph