Thursday 20 September 2018

Picture of Leinster mascot Larmour has Rory Best feeling his age

Jordan Larmour (far left with flag) and Ireland captain Rory Best (right).
Jordan Larmour (far left with flag) and Ireland captain Rory Best (right).
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Rory Best is starting to feel a bit old after seeing a picture of Jordan Larmour acting as a flag bearer at Leinster while the Ireland captain was already midway through his playing career.

Tomorrow, Larmour will make his debut for Ireland alongside Best against Italy and the young gun is already attracting plenty of attention.

Azzurri coach Conor O’Shea says he reminds him of All Black great Christian Cullen, but Best says the Leinster 20-year-old is unfazed by the talk.

"I'm not even sure Jordan was born whenever Christian Cullen was playing," the 35-year-old skipper said.

"I think it's frightening that Cian Healy produced a picture from somewhere in 2009 when Jordan was one of the mascots or one of the guys waving the flags before a Leinster game. That's frightening because I was married in 2009.

jordan.jpg

"But, look, the way he is around the place, he isn't someone who strikes you as getting too uptight about things. The flip side of that, he gets very little wrong in training. To come in like that so young and into such a pressurised environment that we try to create, to be able to do that speaks volumes about his character.

"The last point on that is that if you want to see how someone's going to react in a pressurised environment, European Cup is massive but the next step is the inter-pros. Look at the way he performed against Munster in Thomond Park and Leinster apparently resting their big guns.

"The way he played against them and then against us in the RDS, it speaks volumes for him as a player and him as a person."

Best knows full well what Larmour is capable of after his exploits in the inter-provincial games this season.

"We've seen quite a bit of him over the years, one of the academy guys to full a spot. Now, all the other provinces in some shape or form have been affected by him over the last couple of months,” he said.

"Just to see him in training and the change of pace he has even in a walk through, which sounds ridiculous, but he is a very, very exciting talent.

"It's a massive day for him, to get your debut is something that every young rugby player in Ireland dreams of, pulling on that green jersey. For him to do it for the first time, and to do it in the manner he's played this season, he is massively deserving of being in the squad.

"He's quiet but you just know sombody... we've had it over the years, there's always been at least one guy over the years that walks in and they may not fill the room with their presence in terms of how vocal they are, but when they're on the training pitch you look at them and go, 'this guy has time on the ball.'

"He makes what I would find very difficult things very easy."

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