Monday 22 April 2019

'The Leinster lads had never seen him before!' - How Jordan Larmour made a big impact at his first Ireland training

30 January 2018; Jordan Larmour during Ireland rugby squad training at Carton House in Maynooth, Co Kildare. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
30 January 2018; Jordan Larmour during Ireland rugby squad training at Carton House in Maynooth, Co Kildare. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile Newsdesk Newsdesk

Ireland training camps are notoriously intense but it isn't just the top rugby players in the country that Joe Schmidt invites into his Carton House inner sanctum.

Throughout his tenure as head coach, Schmidt has used his pitch seassions as an opportunity to battle-test the next generation of young stars, bringing in U20 prospects and young provinicial players to get a taste of the intense environment on occasions where Ireland may be short on numbers.

Players like Garry Ringrose and Josh van der Flier were known to have impressed Schmidt at Ireland training before eventually graduating to the international stage and it comes as no surprise that Jordan Larmour was no different.

The electric outside back has been a revelation since making his debut for club and country last season and also made a big impact on his future team-mates when Schmidt brought him in to experience life with Ireland.

Speaking on The Left Wing,'s rugby podcast, Leinster hooker James Tracy described how Larmour lit up an Ireland training session before most players in the province had a chance to even meet him.

"Jordan was brought in before he had even played for Leinster," Tracy said.

"A few of the Munster lads were like to the Leinster players, 'is that the new Leinster lad in?' and the Leinster lads were kind of looking over saying, 'I've never seen him before!'. Then he was this unbelievable talent.

"Once a week in training there is definitely something he does that's freakish."

Leinster back Rory O'Loughlin was another player who was brought into the Ireland set-up as a youngster, and said the time spent with Schmidt was crucial in his development.

"I was in before the last World Cup," O'Loughlin said.

"I was still in the academy and was called in before they headed off. I was just a centre then and was put on the wing most days. It's not that you are thrown on the wing to stay on the wing, you get given out to if you are out of position!

"Even if you have never done it before, you are expected to learn quickly. You are put under pressure and the standard is so high.

"Josh van der Flier was in with me that year and he ended up getting capped the following year."

Similar to Jordan Larmour impressing as untested player, Luke Fitzgerald added that two other schoolboy sensations made their mark during his time at Leinster.

"Andrew Conway and Brendan Macken came into Leinster when they were in school and they absolutely schooled us," Fitzgerald said.

"I think we had a Heineken Cup game the week after and we were like 'don't bring those lads back in!'.

Subscribe to The Left Wing,'s Rugby podcast in association with Laya Healthcare, with Luke Fitzgerald and Will Slattery for the best discussion and analysis each week. From in depth interviews with some of Irish rugby's biggest stars to unmatched insights into the provinces and the national team, The Left Wing has all your rugby needs covered.

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