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Highlights on Off The Ball

C'est Larmour – Tough Larmour | Winger has the ability but needs to elevate his game | BOD

Speaking to OTB's Eoin Sheahan, former Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll told us a small bit of ad...

C'est Larmour – Tough Larmour...

C'est Larmour – Tough Larmour | Winger has the ability but needs to elevate his game | BOD

Speaking to OTB's Eoin Sheahan, former Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll told us a small bit of advice when it comes to taking your opportunities – Wait. Wait. Wait. 

The fatherly advice stood to him on the playing field, that sometimes holding back for the right moment was better than trying to over impress in gun-ho fashion.

Later on in the talk, these three Ws seemed to foreshadow the later advice O'Driscoll had for the Leinster winger Jordan Larmour – patience is a virtue.

Out the blocks

Larmour very nearly chose the hockey stick over the oval ball, but thankfully did not. The 24-year-old instead exploded onto the rugby scene for Leinster as a winger from an early age.

But, due to a shoulder injury sustained in October 2020 – Larmour missed three crucial months of rugby – and fell to the wayside in the Leinster selection.

Larmour's return has also been stifled by James Lowe's excellent form, who has not only filled Larmour's spot but made it his own.

The winger did however get on the scoresheet against Connacht last Friday, showing us a glimpse of his past self.

3 December 2021; Jordan Larmour of Leinster scores his side's fourth try despite the attempted tackle from Jack Carty of Connacht during the United Rugby Championship match between Leinster and Connacht at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Room for improvement

While there's no doubting Larmour's talent, O'Driscoll did hammer home that developing weaknesses in his game is imperative for him, if he is to break into the Irish squad.

That in itself, O'Driscoll admitted, may be a tall order – given the competitive nature of Ireland's back-three spots.

"We all know what ability Larmour has. He has great footwork for instance. But he still has to develop his game as well, such as his spatial awareness as to when other people are on. There’s probably been a handful of occasions where he overplayed his hand," O'Driscoll says.

3 July 2021; Jordan Larmour of Ireland before the International Rugby Friendly match between Ireland and Japan at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

"It does feel like he can fit into Leinster and Ireland set-up. He has an insatiable appetite for work, he looks for the ball, he doesn’t just wait and get cold out on the wing," O'Driscoll says.

"But such is the competitiveness of the back-three of the Irish set-up now. There's a lot of high-quality players there and he just has to back himself and get on top of his game".

A career plateau?

The winger is by no means left without admirers or support. This week Leinster coach Stuart Lancaster came out and backed Larmour's talents, and that his kicking ability will be of great use in the games to come.

“Jordan is always very confident, and rightly so because he’s got unbelievable ability," Lancaster told the press.

9 October 2021; Leinster senior coach Stuart Lancaster before the United Rugby Championship match between Leinster and Zebre at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

In addition however, Lancaster did also point out that the player's career had not excelled to the heights of others around him his age. But this is natural. It has happened before and it will happen again.

"I think it happens to all of them. You could say the same about some other young players like James Ryan or Garry [Ringrose]," Lancaster says.

"I’ve seen it with so many players. You get more scrutiny, you get selected, and then suddenly it becomes a bit harder because people are targeting you and analysing you more," Lancaster says.

Leinster host Bath

Meanwhile, Larmour will be hoping for a runout this Saturday as Leinster host Bath in the opening group stage match of the Heineken Champions Cup.

The game will prove to be a big test for Leinster. While he backs the current squad's capabilities, O'Driscoll conceded that there's a lot of weight on Leinster's shoulders to win the tournament– much like his former years.

"It does feel like they need to deliver and get to a final," O'Driscoll says.

"And the reality is that the standards are so high, that it is about winning it. If you don’t win in Europe it is going to be a disappointment. Not many other teams can say that,” O'Driscoll concluded.

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European Cup Irish Rugby Jordan Larmour Larmour Leinster Rugby