Wednesday 17 July 2019

Larmour living the dream as he eyes first Munster derby

Jordan Larmour is hoping to start for Leinster in Thomond Park
Jordan Larmour is hoping to start for Leinster in Thomond Park
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

When Joe Schmidt called Jordan Larmour in November of last year and invited him into Ireland camp, he was convinced that it was one of his friends playing a prank on him.

But there was a reason why the Ireland coach wanted to have a look at him in training. He may only have been 19 at the time but since his school days in St Andrew's, Larmour has been marked out as a future star.

He has since broken into the Leinster team and made five starts this season as well as another five appearances off the bench, during which time he has provided some magic moments that backed up the reasons why Schmidt got him involved with the senior team early on.

It was a brief spell but one that reiterated that playing professional rugby is what Larmour has always wanted.

"I grew up watching Johnny (Sexton), Brian (O'Driscoll), Rob (Kearney), Isa (Nacewa)," Larmour enthuses.

Opportunity "I always wanted to do what they were doing and now I have the opportunity to do it."

Since blazing a trail with the Ireland U-20s, Larmour was seized every opportunity with Leinster. He is far from the finished article but his potential is genuinely exciting.

"It's tough coming from U-20s into a set-up like this," he admits.

"Everything is more intense: training, meetings, gym, pitch work. But I've really enjoyed it. The environment is top-notch.

"You step out of line or you make mistakes someone lets you know about it. They do it in a nice, productive way. I'm loving it.

"Isa has been very helpful, Rob Kearney has been very good on the pitch. Taking to him about positioning and what he would do in certain situations and Joey (Carbery) as well, just trying to pick his brains and learn from him."

In school, Larmour played in midfield, which was simply because Andrew's game-plan was based around trying to get him the ball as quickly and as often as possible.

He will however end up in the back-three and the only question that remains is whether it will be at full-back or on the wing.

"This is my first proper year playing at full-back," the 20-year-old explains.

"I played two games at U-20 Six Nations. It went well enough from there. All through school I was playing in the centre, even at 10 sometimes."

Larmour's stunning solo try against Ulster last month summed up what he is all about.

His electric pace and bamboozling footwork is a nightmare to defend against and there is still a lot more to come.

"It was a very special moment for me," he recalls.

"It did give my confidence a bit of a boost I suppose. I just backed myself.

"It was probably the first time I backed myself in a game for Leinster, just went for it.

"It was very special for me and my family because it was the first big try I scored for Leinster. I grew up watching Leinster and always wanted to play for Leinster."

"I kinda got off to a slow start I suppose. I didn't show too much in the first few games and then I got a few more chances off the bench and I showed what I could do. I still think I've a lot more to show."

On St Stephen's Day, Larmour will get his first taste of a Munster derby in Thomond Park and he is relishing the prospect.

"It's great for me and my family - we all grew up supporting Leinster, going to all the games.

"The memory that stands out to me was in the Heineken Cup (2009), when Brian O'Driscoll got the interception from O'Gara. I was there with my friends, and when I saw that I knew that's what I wanted to do."

Irish Independent

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