Marland Yarde is looking forward to Harlequins’ Champions Cup campaign

Marland Yarde says the opportunity to play in the Champions Cup against Europe's elite is the reason he joined Harlequins.

Wing Marland Yarde says Harlequins are planning to make things “really tough” for La Rochelle in their Champions Cup opener on Saturday.

And Yarde says Quins have the know-how within their ranks to perform with credit in one of the game’s biggest events this season.

The London side are back in the Champions Cup after missing out for a couple of seasons and begin their campaign at home to the French side on Saturday evening.

And Yarde told Sky Sports: “One of the main reasons for me to come to Harlequins when I left London Irish was I wanted to play in this cup, I wanted to do well, and I wanted to go far and play in those big games.

Harlequins vs La Rochelle

October 14, 2017, 5:00pm

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“I want to challenge myself against the best players in Europe.

“You think about the big occasions, playing those special games, Clermont away, Toulon away, all those big games you see at home watching on TV and you want to be a part of.

“The guys know what it takes to win against those teams. You think of Chris Robshaw, Mike Brown, Danny Care. These guys have had tremendous careers and played some massive games.

“They are just passing on their calming influence and experience onto the guys who haven’t been able to play in this competition.

“It gives you that confidence and I am really excited about being back in the Champions Cup and showing what we can do on the big stage.”

La Rochelle are likely to provide stiff opposition, having topped the French Top 14 table last season, although they then lost out in the play-offs.

And Yarde added: “There are not many tougher games than La Rochelle in this competition at the moment.

“They have done so well in the Top 14 last year, so we know it is going to be an unbelievable challenge, which we are excited about as a team.

“We have done our research, we have left no stone un-turned, we know where their threats lie.

“Tough day on the body this weekend and a lot of running will be done but we are very excited about the challenge ahead.

“If we go out there and perform to the best of our ability, really bring that tempo and that intensity in the first 20, 30 minutes, we are going to make it a really tough day for them.”