Marland Yarde close to new London Irish deal - Brian Smith

Marland Yarde of England evades a tackle from Will Genia of Australia

Two more wins could convince winger Marland Yarde to sign a new deal at London Irish, according to director of rugby Brian Smith.

The 21-year-old's contract at the Madejski Stadium expires next summer.

"A couple of league wins wouldn't hurt, that would get us across the line - if we picked up those last two wins it would probably be a done deal," Smith told BBC Radio Berkshire.

Talks are also underway to keep James O'Connor, 23, beyond this season.

"The club is making a massive effort to keep those two big guns in the back three," Smith said.

"It would be nice to hold onto James O'Connor and Marland - that is clearly first prize for the club. I'm working my socks off on the coaching side of things, but I'm director of rugby and stuff like recruitment, retention and squad planning has got me working 24/7."

Irish are second from bottom in the Premiership after defeats by Northampton and Newcastle, but are only eight points behind fifth-placed Harlequins.

Smith revealed that negotiations to get England international Yarde to commit to the Exiles beyond 2014 have been ongoing for 18 months.

"Conversations started the moment I got here," Smith said. "We sat down straight away and started talks about how we could upgrade and extend his contract.

"I got here and looked at Marland's contract when he'd just got back from an under-20s tour. At that stage he wasn't really on [England head coach] Stuart Lancaster's radar but we identified him here as a talent.

"Things have been moving in a really, really positive direction.

"One strength of our club is we can help showcase his talent. We have half-backs that can distribute the ball to him, the team has an appetite to play and we have a desire to build game plans around key players. And he is one of our key players."

Smith's attention has also turned to strengthening the Exiles pack, with injuries to prop Halani Aulika and lock George Skivington proving costly this term.

He admits the instant impact that Australia international O'Connor has made will lead to another ambitious search.

"We are clearly looking to add to that sort of quality, particularly to the tight five," Smith added.

"What we are look to do is make sure that going forward we are two deep in all those key tight-five positions, so that if our start player is out there is not big drop off in production."