“What’s the story here with this young fella?”
Jordan Larmour has been tearing it up as a professional rugby player for the past 15 months, but many of the current Ireland squad had his card marked as a special talent a little over a year before that.
The 21-year-old’s second hat-trick against Italy, on Saturday, have thrust his name into the conversation for the upcoming Guinness Series games against Argentina and New Zealand.
Andrew Trimble is not surprised to see the ‘special talent’ taking his Leinster form onto the Test stage. On Baz & Andrew’s House of Rugby, Trimble recalled a class story [from 17:00 below] about a teenage Larmour making some seasoned pros look decidedly ordinary when he was invited in to train with the senior Ireland squad.
Trimble never had to chance to play against Larmour in 2017/18, the youngster’s debut season, but he did share a training pitch with him a few times.
Larmour was finishing up with St Andrew’s College and making waves with the Ireland U20s squad when, aware of his prodigious talent at underage level, Joe Schmidt brought him in for training at Carton House. Trimble said:
“They were talking about this young fella… actually, he just arrived and he looked so dynamic, so powerful and we were kind of going, ‘What’s the story here with this young fella?’ and then someone said, ‘Oh he’s just been brought in because he’s unbelievably talented and he, potentially, there could be a big future for him’.
“Actually he got a hard time. There were one or two boys he ran through. So, it’s not touch rugby but it’s not… it’s kind of shoulders on, a little bit, but it’s not full-on either.
“And there’s lads that were saying, ‘Oh, I had him. I had him there’, you know, completely bluffing! ‘I had him there Joe!’
“And then someone had to have a word with him – you know, ‘Stop running on whenever the lads have you’. And there was this look, and he was sort of going ‘They didn’t have me’.
“And that makes sense now! No one ever has him, really.”
Jordan Larmour was not the first young player to be invited in for training with the senior squad a while before they started to make strides in the professional game. Both Garry Ringrose and James Ryan were brought in for sessions by Schmidt and, by most accounts, showed they were made of the right stuff.
Larmour certainly made an impression on his now-teammates that day.