Kearney and Larmour working closely and 'learning from each other'

‘If I can take a few things from his game and add them to mine then that is definitely a plus,’ says Larmour.

general-view-of-franklins-gardens File photo of Franklin's Gardens. Source: CameraSport/Chris Vaughan/INPHO

ESTABLISHED OLD CLUBS mean established old grounds.

And even precocious young talents are always well-advised to be wary and respectful of any given venue’s crannies, nooks, idiosyncrasies and foibles.

Franklin’s Gardens has been hosting Northampton Saints fixtures for about 110 years more than Jordan Larmour has been alive.

So before he takes the field for Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off against the Premiership leaders the Leinster tyro will take in advice, info and the odd steer in the right direction from trusted team-mates. Chief among them will be the man he is in direct competition with, for they can often be spotted working in tandem on the training field, working out angles, discussing the finer points.

“I get on really well with Rob (Kearney),” says Larmour.

From his side, there has never been a formalisation of the need for Kearney to hand over any sort of fullback baton. But with the 98-Test veteran of Ireland, Leinster and the Lions approaching his 34th birthday before the season’s climax and Larmour midway through his 23rd year, it’s hard to shake the sense that we are all watching a changing of the guard in these seasons.

rob-kearney-and-jordan-larmour-celebrate-after-winning-the-guinness-pro14-final Kearney and Larmour celebrate the Pro14 title. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“It’s never been said or anything, but I can go to him for things I need to work on or things I can ask him about.

“We are still competing for the same position at the end of the day. So there is still that element of competitiveness there at the end of the day while helping each other out as well.”

Larmour notes that the World Cup was “two months ago” to signal that he has moved on and is fully focused on the provincial tasks at hand. However, his form in Japan was one of the positive flickers through an otherwise disappointing offering from Joe Schmidt’s side.

The 22-year-old feels a wealth of experience was gained in Japan and the very fact that he refers to himself and Kearney ‘helping each other’ is testament to his rapidly growing stature in Irish rugby.

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“We can both learn things from each other’s games. That’s the beauty about this environment, everyone is keen on working together to get better. If I can take a few things from his game and add them to mine then that is definitely a plus.”

stuart-lancaster-and-jordan-larmour Lancaster and Larmour have a chat ahead of yesterday's training session. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

He adds: “That relationship has grown over the last two or three years and he is obviously still a world-class player and there’s lots I can still learn from him. He’s a good guy to have around and talk through things.

“When we are working we are working and when we are off we are having the craic.”

And the good times will continue to roll for Larmour whether he is playing in place of Kearney or alongside him. Just as long as he is playing.

“At the moment I’m enjoying playing both,” he says when asked if he’s happy to fill in on the wing rather than in the 15 shirt.

“One game at fullback, one game on the wing, wherever the team needs me I’m happy to play. The big thing for me is just getting game time because I think you need game time to really improve and grow as a player.

“As long as I’m getting that I’m happy out.”

About the author:

Sean Farrell

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