Jordan Larmour not getting too far ahead of himself on return to action

Talented back was hitting form again with Leinster before latest injury setback

It seems almost a lifetime ago that a 20-year-old Jordan Larmour left an indelible imprint on his first appearance in a Leinster-Munster fixture. The game took place in December 2017 at Thomond Park and Larmour scored a try for the ages, a brilliant individualistic 60-metre gallop.

Since then he’s faced Munster on another eight occasions with just one further try to his name. He won’t get a chance to add to that tally at the weekend, the hip flexor injury he sustained in the win over Benetton at the start of the month may require another two to three weeks before he can return to the match environment.

Speaking at the launch of the Leinster Rugby summer camps for children, he explained: “I just started back running there last week and then did a bit of sprinting [on Tuesday] so I’m just going to keep building on that, probably looking at a few more weeks on the sidelines before I am back playing.

“But I feel a lot better. I don’t really have any pain through it, so it is more about just getting rehab under my belt and getting back running.”

Injuries are rarely opportune but it is particularly cruel for a player that had rediscovered his form of late with four tries in his last four matches for Leinster, that contribution offering a better representation of his talent. It marked an upturn in fortune.

When Andy Farrell took over with Ireland, the 24-year-old started at fullback in the first three 2020 Six Nations games but since then has only won six caps, four of which were off the bench, and the last in that sequence, against Japan last summer. Form and injuries in the interim have posed a relentlessly difficult challenge.

He’s had to build resilience and to assist in that undertaking he hasn’t strayed too far. “I suppose your family, your friends [and] my girlfriend, they’re all great supporters of me. They keep you level-headed. They’re very proud of me, they always tell me that and I kind of lean on them.”

His team-mates have rallied around, so too the coaches with whom he’s worked on an individual basis to sort out the kinks and shortcomings in aspects of his game. He’s had to take some lumps along the way. “It can be tough at times, not getting selected, picking up a few injuries, kind of having a few setbacks.

“It’s important to keep a positive mindset. All I can really do is just show up every day and work as hard as I can. So that’s what I try to focus on, working hard, doing all I can to get back being selected and keeping the body in good health so I’m not picking up injuries. But yeah, it can be tough. It can take a hit in your confidence

“Setting goals to get back to where you want to be and how you’re going to do that along the way I think is really important. The competition’s high but I do think that competition gets the best out of you. My last few games for Leinster I thought I’d found a bit of form, I was playing well again.

“This injury’s come at an annoying time because I thought I was going well but the messages at the moment are kind of to keep doing what I’m doing, keep working hard off the ball and doing the basics really well.

“Then those opportunities will come, it’s just about taking them, focusing really hard and then doing the basics really well. So I think just trying to stay positive and just keep working hard that’s all you can do, really.”

Missing out on playing in the Six Nations was disappointing but he’s consigned it to the past while any talk of making the Ireland squad to tour New Zealand during the summer is incongruous with his current circumstances. The route map is simple, get back on the pitch and let his performance values argue his case for selection in blue and green.

He said: “It’s [New Zealand tour] in the back of my mind but at the moment, right now my focus is on getting fit, getting back playing for Leinster and playing well. The New Zealand tour I won’t think about a huge amount. I don’t like to think about things that are really far down the line.”