Friday 23 June 2017

Dual star Larmour living the dream

Jordan Larmour Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Jordan Larmour Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Like plenty of youngsters nowadays, there came a time when Jordan Larmour felt that one sport had to take priority over the other so when he opted for rugby instead of hockey in his final year at St Andrew's College, he followed his gut instinct.

Rugby was his main passion but for years he juggled his time with hockey. A former Ireland U-18 international, Larmour, it would seem, very much had a future in the stick sport.

With Ireland playing at the Olympics last year, there was plenty of buzz around hockey but any lingering doubts that Larmour (below) may have had about his decision were dismissed when he received an unexpected phone call last November.

"I was just sitting at home," he recalls.

"I think it was a Sunday afternoon at about 12 o'clock, and my phone rings, an unknown number. I answered and it was Joe Schmidt on the phone.

"I thought it was one of the lads messing with me at first but he was like, 'Can you be up here (Carton House) at two or three o'clock?' I didn't know what to do so I told my dad and he didn't believe me either!

"He said, 'No, it's one of the lads' but yeah it was an unreal experience going up there. All of the lads were so nice. Josh van der Flier took me under his wing as he actually presented me with my jersey back in school so I kind of knew him. Everyone was great, everyone was really helpful.

Motivated

"It motivated me even more, seeing what they do and how they good they are. I just want to be at that level all the time. It was a really good experience, I really enjoyed it."

Larmour and his Ireland U-20 team-mate Jack Kelly spent time training with the Ireland squad and it was then that he really felt that he was on the right path.

A stand-out player for Andrew's in last year's Senior Cup, Larmour was destined for the Leinster academy as well as the U-20s Six Nations squad.

Up until his sixth year in the school, he was still finding time to play both sports as well as study but following his return from a serious knee injury, he decided to put hockey to the side.

"My last year of school, I played the All-Irelands one last time," Larmour explains.

"We made it to the semi-finals but got knocked out by Wesley, I think it was. That was the last time I played hockey.

"My parents always encouraged me to do both, and all my teachers and coaches always said do both.

"In sixth year, I was going to do both but after the All-Irelands something just... I don't know... I took a year out of hockey because I was injured. I had an ACL in my knee and I came back to it and didn't enjoy it as much as I did beforehand so then I decided I'd just stick with the rugby.

"I had a pretty good relationship with the hockey coach in Andrew's. I'd train with the rugby team three times a week but on a Friday I'd do an hour of rugby and an hour of hockey because the hockey was (on at) 5-6 and rugby was 4-5. That gave me a bit of space to let me go do my rugby and do the hour of hockey.

"Rugby is what I wanted to do for as long as I can remember. It's all I ever wanted to do. It's cool when you see them (Ireland hockey side) going to Rio but I always wanted to do rugby."

Larmour impressed on the wing in Ireland's Six Nations win over Scotland last week and he is looking to build on that in Italy on Friday.

"If you keep playing well in the Six Nations and then through the World Cup, people start talking about you even more and you get exposed to the type of coaching (you need)," he enthuses.

"It just motivates you and spurs you on even more."

Irish Independent

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