6N: Best says new Ireland cap Larmour is the real deal

Captain Rory Best regards the hype around new Ireland teammate Jordan Larmour as legit.

Since Larmour was picked in the Irish reserves for the Six Nations match against Italy on Saturday in Dublin, excitement has built about finally seeing the 20-year-old fullback-wing repeat his skills for Leinster in the test arena.

Italy coach Conor O’Shea compared Larmour to New Zealand great Christian Cullen, and Ireland prop Cian Healy showed the team on Thursday a photo of him walking onto the pitch for a Leinster match in 2009 through a kids’ honor guard featuring an 11-year-old Larmour.

”The most frightening part of that is that I got married in 2009,” Best said at the captain’s run on Friday.

As a Leinster Academy player, Larmour has been invited to Ireland camps for a few years as a training extra, and even in that role he has impressed Best.

”Even just the change of pace he has in a walkthrough – that sounds ridiculous – he’s just a very exciting talent.

”It’s a massive day for him. For him to get a debut in the manner he’s played this season, he is massively deserving of being in the squad.

”He’s quiet. Over the years, there’s always been at least one guy that walks in and they may not fill the room with their presence in terms of how vocal they are, but when they’re on the training pitch you look at them and go, `This guy has time on the ball.’

”He makes what I would find very difficult things look very easy.”

Larmour, who featured for Ireland Under-20s last year, made his Leinster debut this season and really lit up the side with his broken-field running in the interprovincial games with Munster and Ulster.

”He’s had a phenomenal start and he fits in perfectly,” Munster and Ireland wing Keith Earls said. ”For a young lad who has just come onto the scene this season, he seems like he’s been around for a long time.”

Best agreed.

”He doesn’t strike you as one who gets too uptight, but at the same time he gets very little wrong in training, and that speaks volumes about his character,” Best said.

”And if you want to see how he reacts in a pressurized environment, just look at how he has gone in the biggest provincial games so far. The Champions Cup is one thing, but the big inter-pro games I think are another step up really, and he showed what he’s capable of.

”With quick ball he can be devastating, so it’s up to us to try to provide that platform for him.”