Monday 23 April 2018

Jordan Larmour savours 'special feeling' but aims to improve following Ireland debut

Jordan Larmour, left, and Andrew Porter of Ireland celebrate after win over Italy
Jordan Larmour, left, and Andrew Porter of Ireland celebrate after win over Italy
Larmour: Areas for improvement. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

As international debuts go, Jordan Larmour's was a steep learning curve, as the electric youngster found out that Six Nations rugby is a world away from the PRO14.

On the one occasion that Larmour got decent ball in hand, he demonstrated his lightning quick feet that almost saw him over for a dream start to his Ireland career.

"Yeah, I thought I was in but he just caught me, it would have been nice to get that," he smiled.

It's been a rapid rise to get to this stage and, defensively at least, Larmour has plenty of work to do before he will be a regular in Joe Schmidt's plans.

Schmidt has been watching Larmour closely for the last few years, and while he is undoubtedly a superstar in the making, it wouldn't come as major surprise if the 20-year-old doesn't feature again until the summer tour of Australia.

Italy targeted Larmour when he came off the bench after 45 minutes for the injured Robbie Henshaw, but he will be all the better for the experience.

"I suppose I'd look at mistakes a lot and in training I try to get into similar positions and try not to make the mistake because you need to look at them, learn from them and grow from them," the Leinster flyer acknowledged.

"That's a very big part, especially because I'm young and I want to be the best I can be. I need to learn from the mistakes I make.

"Getting a taste of it out there today made me want to push on and get picked every week.

"All I can do is learn from the mistakes I made out there and just grow from them, try to improve week on week and put the work in, hopefully get another opportunity.

"I was dying to get on the ball. I came infield on one of the last plays and just got my hands on the ball.

"It was a tough game, it turned a bit loose towards the back end of it but I thought we did well to regroup and get the win."

Like all good players, Larmour is supremely confident, and even though he was caught out of position on a couple of occasions, he won't be deterred by the errors.

"I wasn't that nervous but when I was about to go on I got a bit nervous," he admitted.

"It was a special feeling, it's been a dream of mine to play for Ireland so hopefully I can get a few more opportunities to do it.

"A few of the lads just told me to stay calm and relax the whole time, just play your own game.

"It was basically just 'Do what you've been doing all year so far.' So that gave me a bit of confidence and I just took it day by day and did as much as I could in training to prepare myself for the game. I felt comfortable out there.

"I'm delighted to get my first cap and it's even more special to have my family and friends there in the crowd. It was even better to get the win.

"I have pretty high standards for myself and every time I go out on the pitch I try to do the best I can.

"I try to make a line break, making good decisions on myself and I would put a lot of pressure on myself to perform to what I've done in the past."

Schmidt is a master at getting players used to his systems before they are blooded and Larmour was no different in that regard.

While he was still playing with the Ireland U-20s, Schmidt had Larmour in camp, which was invaluable to his development.

"It was good to get a taste of what Joe is like and the competition in the team,"he added.

"That's a big thing why players are so good in there, because the competition is so high and everyone wants a spot on the team.

"Getting a taste last year was pretty cool, I was pretty nervous coming in but it's a bit different when you're on the other side, a bit more work to do obviously and probably more pressure on you to perform."

As for Larmour's first Ireland jersey?

"I think my mum and dad will want to do something with it, so I'll hang onto it."

Irish Independent

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