Jason Robinson tips Marland Yarde to shine with Harlequins
Last Updated: 26/08/14 4:18pm
Jason Robinson believes new Harlequins signing Marland Yarde can earn a place on the wing for England in next year's World Cup.
Robinson, who scored a try in the final as England won the World Cup in 2003, believes the two wing berths remain the most open selection challenges facing England boss Stuart Lancaster.
The former Sale flyer conceded there are still "question-marks" over England's best back-three line-up for next year's home World Cup.
Mike Brown has nailed down the full-back berth, but Robinson believes Yarde and Chris Ashton still face fierce wing competition from Christian Wade, Jack Nowell, Jonny May and Anthony Watson.
"Wing is probably one of the most open positions," the 40-year-old said. "As an international wing finishing a try is a given, it's the other basics that count, and we still don't have as much experience as we would have liked there at this stage.
He's at a great place with some great coaches, and playing in that back-three will only bring his game on. And it's a great time for that to happen, leading into the World Cup year.
"There are still a lot of question-marks for Stuart Lancaster. We've certainly got some good wings, but we just need consistency.
"The autumn matches are really when you are judged I think as a player, because you are playing against the world's best.
"If you're playing well you'll get the headlines, you'll see who's on form and who's not. Stuart will have an idea of the six guys he's got his eyes on, and it's a shootout now frankly."
Yarde recovered from hip tendon trouble to tour New Zealand in the summer, scoring twice in England's three Test defeats.
The 22-year-old left London Irish this summer for Aviva Premiership rivals Harlequins, with Robinson tipping that move to help cement his World Cup berth.
"Harlequins are a great team to watch, with guys like Mike Brown and a lot of other England players there," said Robinson.
"Quins like to play, and he should get a lot of opportunities at Quins, and he should be in the spotlight a lot more.
"I think it's a great move for him, he's now just got to really set the bar high and go all-out. He's great with ball in hand, he's one of the best attackers in the English game.
"If he can just work a little bit harder on his defence, I don't mean physically, sometimes positionally.
"Not many people will get round Marland Yarde because he's so quick, so you've got to get your positioning right.
"He's at a great place with some great coaches, and playing in that back-three will only bring his game on. And it's a great time for that to happen, leading into the World Cup year."