Unfair to say Ireland play through Johnny Sexton too much - Jordan Larmour 2 months ago

Unfair to say Ireland play through Johnny Sexton too much - Jordan Larmour

"It is here... somewhere."

Jordan Larmour is sitting in his family home and talking to us from a room adorned with rugby memorabilia, framed pictures and medals. There, not far from his U16 hockey pictures, is the Six Nations winners' medal he won with Ireland - in Grand Slam style - in 2018.

"My dad is a big man for framing pictures and stuff of teams I have been on," Larmour explains. He is talking to an online gathering of media on the day a new two-part documentary, produced with Energia, is released.

Larmour's chat comes two days before the news broke, from Limerick, of a Munster Academy player testing positive for Covid-19 and six other players, who had been in close contact with him, being asked to self isolate. Leinster's match with Munster, on August 22, is set to go ahead despite that set-back and Larmour talks a little about the procedures in place at Leinster.

"First and foremost, every day we go in we have to fill out a questionnaire - how you're feeling, have you any symptoms and whatnot. Then rock up to Leinster, temperature checks. Some lads change out in the car. In the changing room, there is a space blocked off between so there's social distancing there. You're just in and out changing and get out.

"Same in the canteen where we get our food, it's two metres apart. In the gym, two metres apart, sanitise down all the equipment after you use it. Out on the pitch after we use the balls and the tackling pads and everything. It's all cleaned down and sanitised. I think Leinster have down a really good job. Credit to the backroom staff there. They're on top of it all."

Champions Cup

Larmour jokes that although he may have improved his muscle mass, he has not gone full Bryson DeChambeau and bulked up to extreme levels. He also used the elongated break in the season to improve his game.

"During lockdown, nearly every day I was picking different skills to work on," he says. "I worked on all of them.

"Did a good bit of working on my kicking during the lockdown up at a field near my house. Did some high ball work. A lot of hand-eye coordination stuff. Just trying to keep that ticking over because it's an important skill to keep improving. When we came back into rugby, you didn't want to be starting from scratch again having not touched a rugby ball in however many weeks it was."

Now settling in as fullback with Leinster and Ireland, Larmour is asked if he is looking to step up more as a second playmaking option for both backlines. "You can always work on different things," he responds.

"Stepping up playing first receiver, second receiver - you can do that in training no bother. It's definitely something I've been working on in training. It's a bit different to when you're playing first or second receiver than when you're out on the wing or in the outside channels. It's definitely a skill I need to keep working on."

The first episode of 'The Power Behind Jordan Larmour - A Rollercoaster Season' dives into the up’s and downs of Jordan’s 19/20 rugby season and the forced unchartered break due to COVID-19 ahead of the Return to Rugby in Ireland.

There is a well-founded narrative in Irish rugby, for the past couple of seasons, that both Leinster and Ireland play through Johnny Sexton too much. Shut down Sexton, the argument goes, and both Leinster and Ireland can be toppled. Larmour argues back:

"Johnny is a class act and a class player and sometimes it is on all of us to help out our nines and 10s. We've done a good job. I don't think that would be really fair to say. There are a lot of other things that we can do better to keep improving as a team.

"You learn that through games and playing with each other and combinations and stuff. You work all that stuff out. We have been training and preparing well, we just fell a bit short on the day [against England] so it is back to the drawing board to see where we can improve. I do think we were improving."

The visit of Munster to Dublin, next weekend, will give us all an opportunity to see if Leinster and Larmour can improve on a side that were 19-0 before the pandemic-enforced break.


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