Leinster's Jordan Larmour. Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

In-form Jordan Larmour hoping to end frustrating season on a high

The Leinster flyer has stood out in the recent wins over Munster and Glasgow but missed out on the squad for the Champions Cup final.

JORDAN LARMOUR KNEW the conversation was coming but that didn’t make it any easier to stomach.

The Leinster flyer had just made a headline-grabbing return from injury after more than two months on the sidelines, starring in a United Rugby Championship win over Munster at the Aviva Stadium the week before the Blues headed to Marseille for their Champions Cup final date with La Rochelle.

Larmour couldn’t have done much more against Munster to argue his case, but in the eyes of Cullen, the La Rochelle game just arrived to soon for him.

“Look, I would have loved to have been involved but that’s the way it went,” Larmour says.

“I’d just come back from a 10-week injury, I’d only played one game, so I probably didn’t have much of an argument. Leo is very good at explaining why you’re not playing or why you’re not getting selected.

“We all know he can only pick 23 for a matchday squad and there’s so much competition and lads are playing well, so it is tough but it’s important you don’t dwell on it and you might use that disappointment or frustration to kind of fire you up and kick you on.

“Those conversations are tough, I’m sure it’s tough for him to make those decisions but that’s just the way it goes.”

Larmour appears to have handled that disappointment well, backing up the Munster game with another eye-catching display against Glasgow last Saturday.

ronan-kelleher-josh-murphy-jordan-larmour-and-ed-byrne-dejected-after-the-game Larmour travelled with the Leinster squad to Marseille but wasn't part of the matchday 23. Billy Stickland / INPHO Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

With a Friday night URC semi-final clash against the Bulls next on the agenda – and a place in Ireland’s squad to tour New Zealand also a live possibility – Larmour could yet enjoy a rewarding end to a frustrating season. The former St Mary’s man has featured just 11 times for Leinster this season, while he hasn’t been capped for Ireland since July of last year.

“Starting off the season with an injury and then getting another one wasn’t ideal but that’s just the way it goes,” he continues.

“The last few weeks I’ve just been focusing on getting back training and trying to get back up to speed with all of the lads because I think I’ve been out for 10 weeks. That’s a decent amount of time not to be training. 

“I probably wasn’t trying to overthink things (when I came back), or make things happen. Looking back when I was out injured, I said when I came back I’d just focus on doing the simple things really well, then those big moments come and you just have to be ready to take them.

Felipe (Contepomi) is very good. He likes you to focus on what your strengths are and put yourself on the pitch where you’re going to get into those positions. If you’re coming off 10, he’s telling you to get yourself in those positions as much as possible. For me, like trying to beat defenders one on one, trying to find mismatches, things like that, Felipe has been very good with me, chatting through all that.

“Probably just my self-reflection is another big thing as well, looking back at games, looking at what I’m doing wrong and what I can do better, where I can improve on, because at this level, I know we talk about those 1% and they can make all the difference. Trying to find anything I can get better at or do better is hugely important to me.”

It has also been interesting to see how Leinster have used Larmour – who will turn 25 tomorrow – in recent weeks.

He scored two tries and wreaked havoc from the wing against Glasgow after being named at fullback for the Munster game – his first start in the 15 jersey since April last year – where he saw less of the ball but still lit up the Aviva with his roaming runs from deep.

jordan-larmour-scores-a-try Larmour scored two tries in a Player of the Match performance against Glasgow. Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

“I’ve probably playing the majority on the wing but I love both positions. I find the more games you get in one position the more you can get into your flow a bit more and that’s the position you like at that moment, but I don’t mind chopping and changing.

“Sometimes it’s always the way the game is going as well, like last weekend I was getting loads of ball on the right wing. Sometimes it might be the other wing. It’s just the way the game goes sometimes.”

Larmour has the footwork and quick-thinking to cause damage from both positions, but defensively they present different challenges, particularly having played so little rugby at 15 recently. 

Definitely now the backfield is such a big part, especially with the 50-22, teams are looking for that a lot more. It is tough. We’ve probably added in an extra meeting around the backfield cover and just trying to be all on the same page because there can be a lot of moving parts.

“Once you get your detail nailed on early on in the week and knowing who you’re playing against, whether they’re a right-footer or a left-footer, that makes it easier.”

Larmour will hope to carry his strong run of form into tomorrow’s meeting with the Bulls with Andy Farrell no doubt keeping a close eye – the Ireland head coach is expected to name his squad for New Zealand next week.

“It’s definitely in the back of my mind,” Larmour says of the New Zealand tour.

“Everyone would love to be on the plane but for me at the moment I think it’s just important I focus on this week and playing well in training, put my hand up for selection and hopefully get selected this weekend. That’s where all my focus is.

“I’m not looking too far ahead of this weekend because I want to be playing and playing well, so all of my focus is on now.” 

Get instant updates on your province on The42 app. With Laya Healthcare, official health and wellbeing partner to Leinster, Munster and Connacht Rugby.

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