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'He does remind you of a young Christian Cullen in what he can do'

Jordan Larmour was the star of the show in Ireland’s eight-try win over Italy in Chicago.

Murray Kinsella reports from Soldier Field

JORDAN LARMOUR SAVED the best for last, bursting onto John Cooney’s switch pass and scything through Italy’s defence.

The 21-year-old, making his first Test start for Ireland as he won his seventh cap, proceeded to utterly destroy Tito Tebaldi with a delicious right-footed step, then beat final defender Guglielmo Palazzani off his left.

Andrew Porter and Bundee Aki congratulate Jordan Larmour after the game Larmour was man of the match for Ireland. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

The beautiful score made it a hat-trick for Larmour in Ireland’s 54-7 victory over Italy in Chicago, while his linebreak and pass put another score on a plate for scrum-half Luke McGrath.

In all, Larmour beat 12 defenders at Soldier Field, produced four clean linebreaks and ran for a total of 249 metres.

Having come off the bench six times for Ireland last season on the wing, at fullback and even at outside centre, he shone on his first start under Joe Schmidt, lighting up the Chicago clash in the 15 shirt.

“It’s unbelievably exciting,” said Ireland captain Rhys Ruddock of playing with Larmour.

“Every time he gets the ball, he’s looking for opportunities. It’s just hard to keep up with him at times as a back row, we need to be on his shoulder to support him, but luckily today he didn’t need too much help when he got those opportunities.

“He’s a quality player and it’s good to have him in your team.”

Schmidt, who had praise for Larmour’s fellow back three players, was similarly impressed.

“I thought Jacob Stockdale started really strongly as well and looked dangerous,” said Schmidt. “Andrew Conway probably didn’t get as many chances but Jordan managed to get on the ball a number of times.

Jordan Larmour scores the fourth try Larmour was lethal for Ireland. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“The way he set up Luke McGrath for his try in the first half… I think John Cooney was looking for one right at the end, he chased him all the way but he didn’t require him.

“I do think it was a pretty spectacular effort from Jordan and he’ll be delighted with that. The first ball he took in the air was good as well. There’s a few positional things that he’s still working on and we wanted to spread his time across 15 and the wing. We know he can slot in at 13 as well.”

Defeated Italy boss Conor O’Shea was frustrated with how his team defended against Larmour but also underlined the youngster’s prodigious talent.

“He can run, we all know that,” said O’Shea.

“You would all love to be able to do that. He does remind you of a young Christian Cullen in what he can do.

“I’m sure that there are certain areas of his game that he knows he needs to work on as well but if you give someone space and time with his ability, it’s going to cost you and we did.”

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Murray Kinsella

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