England 40 Barbarians 12 match report: Marland Yarde shows his true measure to defeat Baa-Baas



It is increasingly difficult to love these annual end-of-season Barbarians jamborees, which have all the romance and passion of an arranged marriage. But every now and again, a player with an eye for the main chance presents the best of himself to the watching world and leaves the audience, pretty much exhausted by eight months of thud and blunder, craving a little bit more.

Marland Yarde, the young wing from St Lucia who is just beginning to make his way in Premiership rugby, did that, and unless everyone's eyes were deceiving them, he will win a full England cap sooner rather than later. This much was clear after 40-odd seconds when, on being freed close to the touchline by the outside-half Freddie Burns, he beat the fearsome Fijian back Timoci Nagusa in a bare minimum of space before finding Burns with a sweet return pass that allowed the Gloucester man to open the scoring.

There was more to come at the start of the second half when Yarde went hunting off his wing and cut a sliderule angle to maximise a clever little wraparound move involving Burns and his half-back partner Richard Wigglesworth. He left Casey Laulala for dead – no mean feat in itself, for the New Zealander is nobody's fool when it comes to the one-on-one tackling duties – and finished in style.

Thanks to the recent pyrotechnics of the much-garlanded Wasps wing Christian Wade and the unnervingly rapid Gloucester back Jonny May, the 21-year-old Yarde has the lowest profile of the red-rose brat pack. It will not stay that way for long. He is bigger and more powerful than his rivals – "Closer to 100kg than 90 kg, which means he can bump people off as well as run round them," said the national coach Stuart Lancaster after this display – and the size-muscle-sinew differential should push him to the head of the queue for full Test honours. It may happen for him inside a fortnight, for England meet Argentina in the foothills of the Andes as their next agenda item.

Lancaster pronounced himself happy with his side's performance in what is always an awkward fixture against a scratch side who, by their very nature, are unlikely to do any of the things the England analysts might expect of them. Right from the start, the red rose forwards established superiority at the set-piece, where Alex Corbisiero, back in business after a nasty brush with a career-threatening knee problem, performed with all the skill, intelligence and astuteness of old. This gave Burns the time and space he craved, and he duly shut the Baa-Baas out of the contest before the interval.

The invitation side barely fired a shot until late in the piece, when Schalk Brits and Elliot Daly registered tries that could not conceivably have been more different – the first of them a ho-hum mauling effort from close range, the second of them an eye-catching strike from distance. But England had scored heavily in the half-hour after the restart and if the Baa-Baas do not front up earlier, and for far longer, against the Lions in Hong Kong this coming Saturday, that sponsor-driven fixture could be an embarrassment for all concerned.

England XV M Brown (Harlequins) (K Eastmond (Bath) 51); C Wade (Wasps), J Joseph (London Irish), W Twelvetrees (Gloucester), M Yarde (London Irish); F Burns (Gloucester) (J May (Gloucester) 64), R Wigglesworth (Saracens) (H Thomas (Exeter) 47); A Corbisiero (London Irish) (J Marler (Harlequins) 56), R Webber (Bath, capt) (D Paice (London Irish) 60), D Wilson (Bath) (H Thomas (Sale) 47), J Launchbury (Wasps), D Attwood (Bath) (K Myall (Sale) 47), T Johnson (Exeter), M Kvesic (Worcester), B Morgan (Gloucester) (V Vunipola (Wasps) 47).

Barbarians: E Daly (Wasps); T Nagusa (Montpellier) (R Varty (DeA Tigers) 60), C Laulala (Munster), M Tindall (Gloucester, capt), T Ngwenya (Biarritz); J Hook (Perpignan) (N Evans (Harlequins) 64), D Peel (Sale) (D Yachvili (Biarritz) 50; A Lo Cicero (Racing Metro) (D Jones (Ospreys) 45), M Rees (Scarlets) (S Brits (Saracens) 45), J Johnston (Harlequins) (P James (Bath) 64), J Hamilton (Gloucester) (D Mumm (Exeter) 56), M Wentzel (Wasps), A Zanni (Treviso), J Poff (Wasps), I Harinordoquy (Biarritz) (S Jones (Wasps) 60).

Referee L Hodges (Wales).


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific