Monday 27 January 2020

Lancaster chats helping Larmour to step outside his comfort zone

Learning on the job: Jordan Larmour, going through his paces at Leinster training this week, insists he has still much to work on when it comes to the full-back role. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Learning on the job: Jordan Larmour, going through his paces at Leinster training this week, insists he has still much to work on when it comes to the full-back role. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Since coming back from the World Cup, Jordan Larmour has decided to use his electric footwork to step out of his comfort zone and bamboozle defenders.

It's all part of his quest to become a more complete player as he looks to cement his place as Leinster and Ireland's first-choice full-back.

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The changing of the guard is well under way in that regard with further evidence of that arriving when Rob Kearney was left out of Andy Farrell's training squad.

Larmour has been in scintillating form for a while now and a conversation with Stuart Lancaster at the start of the season helped clear his mind in terms of the improvements he needed to make in his game.

Leinster's attacking shape demands that the full-back must step into the line and provide an option as first receiver, which Larmour is only too happy to do.

Philosophy

The 22-year-old will be hoping that Mike Catt has the same kind of philosophy as his former England boss when Ireland's new attack coach plans for the upcoming Six Nations.

Larmour wants to get his hands on the ball as often as possible and with Leinster playing to his strengths, he feels that offering himself as that play-making option is becoming second nature.

"It's a bit of Stuart and it's a bit of me," he says of the change in his thinking.

"When I came back (from Japan), I sat down with him and I said I want to step up and be more of a ball player as well, so I'm kind of working on that.

"I've done it a few times this season, stepping up. It's important, being a 15, you've got to be able to play a two-sided attack so when you're getting back up off the ground, you're scanning, seeing if you can go back down the short side or work out the open side.

"You have to scan up and see where the space is, and play the space. It's something I'm conscious of and continuing to work on."

Earlier this week when Lancaster was asked about Catt's strengths as a coach, he mentioned the same things Larmour has been working at.

He will get another chance to showcase his talents when Lyon come to the RDS on Sunday as Larmour looks to maintain the kind of form that has made him the front-runner to start in the No 15 jersey against Scotland on February 1.

All but one of his appearances this season have come at full-back, rather than on the wing, and that familiarity has helped breed confidence, even if Larmour admits he is still working on several areas of his game.

"A lot of things I suppose: back-field cover, if someone kicks, not letting the ball bounce.

"Defensive reads: getting in a good position to make a hit. High ball and handling, I'm just working on all those skills. So look, I'm still working on everything.

"The more game-time you get in a certain position, you will feel more comfortable.

"Still, I can play on the wing. I can go enter the centre if I have to.

"So, it's just important I don't take away from that, just keep learning and in those positions, in training sometimes I find myself on the wing.

"On the weekend, I was in the front-line for five or 10 minutes so it can happen in games and you've got to be ready for it.

"I'm happy with how I'm going this season but I still think I've got more to give, so it's just about kicking on and getting better."

Larmour is set to see more game-time in green over the coming campaign and having been involved in the mini pre-Christmas camp, he is relishing the chance to play under Farrell.

"I suppose in every team you have a structure and a game-plan, and you stick to the game-plan as much as possible, but in any game if you have something on, you can take that risk, I suppose," he adds.

"All those coaches will have their different style to Joe (Schmidt), as anyone does, Stu (Lancaster) has a different style, Faz (Farrell) does and so does Joe, so it's just putting their own spin on things and how they want to go about it."

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