Thomond Park holds happy memories for Jordan Larmour. It was in 2017 at the Limerick venue that he scored the try that heralded his talent to the world, a result that marked the youngster as a special talent.
Ours and a few years later he’s won a Grand Slam and been to a World Championship – but you still get the feeling the 24-year-old hasn’t quite taken the next step.
He was ousted as a full-back by Hugo Keenan. On the right wing he finds himself behind Mack Hansen and Andrew Conway. Robert Baloucoune was also capped recently, so he could only be fourth in the pecking order.
And yet Larmour remains optimistic about his prospects of re-scaling the heights.
Injuries have not helped – and he is currently sidelined with a hip flexor injury which will prevent him from returning to Thomond this Saturday.
However, there is plenty of rugby to play this season – and at the end the big carrot of a tour to New Zealand.
For a player who drew favorable comparisons to Christian Cullen in his early days, this could be the perfect place to restart his international career.
“It’s difficult. The competition is tough at the moment, but I think the competition brings out the best in you.
“In my last couple of games for Leinster I thought I’d found some form, I’ve been playing well again,” he said.
“This injury came at an annoying time because I thought I was running well, but the messages right now are to kind of carry on with what I’m doing – keep working hard on the ball and doing the fundamentals really well.
“Then those opportunities come and it’s just a matter of grabbing them. So for me it’s about really focusing hard – and then doing the basics really well.
“It can be difficult at times not being selected, suffering a few injuries, suffering a few setbacks. It can be tough, but I think it’s just important to keep a positive attitude,” added Larmour.
“All I can really do is just show up every day and work as hard as I can.
“That’s what I’m trying to focus on, working hard, doing whatever it takes to get selected again – and keeping the body in good health so I don’t pick up injuries.
“But yeah, it can be tough. It can take a hit on your confidence.
“So it’s just important that your attitude is right – and you work hard, set 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.
“Just trying to stay positive and just keep working hard, that’s really all you can do.”
Larmour believes he remains as ambitious and carefree as the boy who made his way into the public consciousness at Thomond.
“To be honest, I don’t think I’ve (changed). I don’t think I walked away from this boy as soon as I came on the scene. Maybe I’ve matured a bit, but when I’m there I just play what I see in front of me, go out and express myself,” he said.
“Maybe a few games where I thought about it or didn’t support myself. Then I might have had a bad performance, but I try to do my best – just go out there and just have fun and, like I said, express myself and not think too much. Just do it.”
Back on the training ground, it’s just a matter of getting fit for the run-in and fighting for a place on the tour.
“Definitely it would be cool to continue,” he said.
“When I speak to the guys, it’s an extremely difficult place to win.
“It’s in the back of my mind but right now my focus is on getting fit, playing for Leinster again and playing well.
“I’m not going to think much about the New Zealand tour… it would be a cool place to go and play.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/unlucky-jordan-larmour-determined-to-retain-a-positive-mindset-41505512.html Unfortunate Jordan Larmour is determined to maintain a “positive mindset”.