Smith’s exit paves way for Yarde to join Harlequins


Harlequins winger Sam Smith will not be offered a new deal for next season, according to a report in the Daily Mail. Smith’s contract is up at the end of the current campaign, and despite featuring in all but three of Quins’ Aviva Premiership fixtures so far, the 23-year-old winger will not be offered an extension to his contract.

It is believed that the clearout of Smith is designed to leave space in the squad for the arrival of Marland Yarde, whose contract is also up at the end of the season. Yarde is thought to be in talks with Wasps and Bath as well as Quins, while also considering an offer from his current club London Irish.

His desire to play at the very highest level, as well as remain close to his family in London, however, would make Quins his most likely destination, and the non-renewal of Smith’s contract could pave the way for the England winger to sign on at the Stoop.

Yarde is currently suffering from a hip tendon injury and was in line to miss the whole of England’s Six Nations campaign, but in a Twitter Q&A recently the young winger confirmed he may return in time for the final two fixtures against Wales and Italy.

Smith will now be looking for a club for the 2014/2015 campaign, with a move in the opposite direction to Yarde not out of the question. The Exiles have also been in talks with Leicester’s Thomas Waldrom, another to be out of contract come the end of the season.

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

14 thoughts on “Smith’s exit paves way for Yarde to join Harlequins

  1. Looks as though there will be quite a few moves this season. Yarde would be a great signing for Harlequins, although I’d love to see him at Wasps, a winger is not a priority for us. I’d rather we put our money into getting Preistland, and some top class front row enforcements.

        1. I’ve seen reports suggesting he wanted to stay – but never a direct quote or anything about contracts being signed so I assumed he will still pretty open to it.

          Wasps certainly need a 10 to come in next year to make that step from a mid-table side to a top 4 challenging outfit.

          1. Sounds to me as though he would rather stay at Scarlets but won’t sign with all the uncertainty. Makes sense. I’m still holding out hope that he signs for Wasps.

  2. Yarde would obviously be a great signing for any team.

    However, it is a horrible trend at London Irish isn’t it?

    Watson, Garvey, Kennedy, Armitage x 3, Corbisiero, Bowden, Gibson, Thompstone – and probably more that don’t spring immediately mind.

  3. Blub,

    Its an on going thing at Irish. We seem to have become a development side for other clubs. Max Lahiff was another player who was pretty good for us until the Super XV came calling. The partnership of Nick Kennedy and Bob Casey is another big miss.

    Pretty depressing stuff. Our academy must be working over time to keep churning players out.

      1. Tom,

        I think you’ll find that the players do not leave because of the new owners’ “Irish identity” proclamations.

        The club after all, has always had this identity, as anyone who has been to their Sunbury ground will atest to. They do just fine with this “dual” nationality. They are just reinforcing what already exists.

        The club also do a very good job in developing the local talent, and that is really my concern for them. The develop this talent, and then lose it.

        Most of the people who turn up at the Madejski are not Irish, but embrace the “Irish-ness” as part of the day.

        1. I did not say that was why they left…

          I don’t think it helps though, and you telling me they buy into it won’t convince me otherwise.

  4. Same story happened at Newcastle. We lost nigh on the England first choice backline; wilkinson, flood, noon and tait. The rot hasn’t stopped there though, the player drain keeps happening, albeit not for a while. Micky young, Geoff parling, Phil dowson and then the ones that came back such as Clegg and Brookes. Lost some damn good players to bigger pay cheques. Strange that it seems sarries, saints and the tigers have the ability to sign anyone. Sarries already had a top notch squad, then somehow couped billy vunipola and James Johnston.

  5. The whole point of exiles clubs is the national duality.Rugby Union culture is it’s fertile bed.It’s not football quite yet Tom.

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