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Larmour inspired by driven Jordan as he waits for next dance

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Leinster’s Jordan Larmour has taken inspiration from his legendary basketball namesake Michael Jordan

Leinster’s Jordan Larmour has taken inspiration from his legendary basketball namesake Michael Jordan

Leinster’s Jordan Larmour has taken inspiration from his legendary basketball namesake Michael Jordan

Jordan Larmour has always been a man in a hurry. His career trajectory has matched those quick feet and explosive bursts that have become his stock in trade during his already illustrious career.

When Leinster wanted to put out a morale booster for their rugby-starved fans, they went for a top five of their hot-stepping full-back's tries. A full-back who has collected a Grand Slam, a Champions Cup and a couple of PRO14s already, was one of Ireland's best players at the 2019 World Cup and has since assumed control of the No 15 shirt at international level.

Right now, he and his team-mates should be in the midst of the business end of the season but instead he finds himself finding ways to fill the hours like everyone else in lockdown.

Living at home with his parents Ian and Anne and his brother Adam and sister Claudia, he's not lacking for company but he misses the day to day interaction with his team-mates.

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They've done core sessions and meet-ups on Zoom, but otherwise Larmour has been training alone or with his brother who was a handy player for St Andrew's in his schooldays in the park near his home.

Degree

He has college work to complete as he catches up on his degree in Strength and Conditioning from Setanta College that was put on hold for the World Cup, Zoom quizzes with mates that says he never wins and he and the family have organised a 'Come Dine With Me' to keep the spirits up.

"I haven't burned the house down yet!" he laughs. "It's going better than I thought. I made some fajitas, my sister did a steak with nice veg and lovely potatoes. My brother's didn't go very well. He was trying to do a carbonara, I don't know what happened - he left it on for too long but it was all stuck to the bottom of the pan. So it wasn't a great one.

"My Dad hasn't done his one yet, but that'll be horrific. Then Mum will probably knock it out of the park."

Avoiding spending too much time on Netflix is the aim of the game, but when he does succumb to the urge to boot it up Larmour has found a something that ticks the entertainment and educational boxes all at once in 'The Last Dance' documentary on Michael Jordan.

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The series documents the Chicago Bulls 1997/'98 season and, given he was born in June 1997, it is understandable that the youngster comes to the story fresh.

However, as a member of a Leinster set-up that was on course for an unbeaten season when the curtains came down on rugby, he is fascinated.

"It's incredible. I can't wait for it to come out every week," he enthuses.

"His mindset, the winning mindset he has is just incredible and his competitiveness.

Throughout the documentary, you can just see how competitive he gets; how badly he wants to win. Definitely, you can take a few bits from that documentary.

"He's an incredible athlete. I didn't really know much about him before the documentary, I'd obviously heard of him but I never would have looked him up or anything like that. Seeing them in that documentary is just incredible. Just the way his mind works and his competitive nature. That's something I'll take from it."

There may be vast cultural chasms between the locker room of the Bulls of the 1990s and the current Leinster changing-room, but Larmour sees some familiar traits.

"Everyone wants to win," he says.

"It's that attitude that you're not taking no for an answer and you're going to do everything you can to get the results that you want and ultimately to win.

"The competition that we have in Leinster really drives standards and it gets the best out of people. That's kind of what you need to be successful. That winning mindset is definitely something that we've been talking about and working on.

"You would never go into a game thinking you're going to lose this. That's just doesn't happen. Definitely it's cool to see that the Bulls just have that winning mentality and that competitiveness within each other.

"And you see in the documentary that Michael Jordan, he's giving out to his team-mates, just purely to try to get the best out of them. So I think that's cool to see."

It's been a long season full of ups and downs for Larmour and the fact his last outing was in the defeat to England leaves a sour taste.

"When we got the news the Italy game was cancelled and we probably wouldn't be playing a game for a while it was definitely frustrating," he says.

"The demons can come into the head and start playing with you. It's tough when you have a bad loss and you can't go out and fix it, it is frustrating and it plays on the mind.

"I suppose now it's about focusing on different goals and that is to get back into training and you know, keep working on our fitness and our strength gains at home. It helps to take the pressure off."

Larmour and his team-mates remain in the dark about when they might get to train and play together again. If it's safe, he wants to finish out the season.

"I love playing my rugby with Leinster. We were unbeaten and that was really cool. We had two massive games coming up in the Six Nations," he says. "We'd love to finish the season, but obviously, we have to do what's best for everyone. That comes first, people's health is at the top.

"Ferg (McFadden) has announced his retirement. Even sending him off with some silverware would be really nice, but I don't know if that's going to be possible. We're just waiting to hear what the plan is."

At 8pm tonight on Energia's YouTube channel, Jordan Larmour will present the virtual Energia AIL Awards alongside well-known Irish rugby faces and host Mario Rosenstock to mark a great domestic season.


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