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"Jordan Larmour was uncomfortable" | Keith Wood on Ireland's back three options

Thom Malone
Thom Malone

22:18 24 Aug 2020


Keith Wood was on Monday Night Rugby on Off The Ball where he spoke about Jordan Larmour and Ireland's back-three options.

With tries for Keith Earls, Andrew Conway, James Lowe and Stockdale, the PRO 14 return sparked a debate about who Andy Farrell should pick.

"I thought Earls' finish was phenomenal," said Wood. "He got himself into a great position and kept his balance for it.

"Conway has been playing incredibly well, he has for the whole of last season putting his hand up, he was very good.

"Stockdale has an awful lot to do. I thought Larmour was, for me, uncomfortable at fifteen.

"The laws haven't changed, but they have been viewed differently so there's a lot of interference on high balls. That didn't happen three or four years ago you were automatically penalised.

"Now it's not penalised at all, I think, for safety reasons. They are protecting the guy who goes up in the air, but he never got to the ball at any stage.

"He was jumping and it was three or four yards ahead of him. Munster exploited that often. Actually Munster's kicking game was pretty decent as well.

"For me, the two [better] wingers were the two Munster wingers and they got the opportunity to score.

Is there a worry Jordan Larmour is getting a reputation for being uncomfortable under a high ball? Wood does not think so.

"He's taking over from the guy who was the safest pair of hands of them all in Rob Kearney. he doesn't want to get in that position [where he is uncomfortable under the high ball].

"I'm uncertain as yet about Stockdale at fifteen, but these are young guys and we need someone to come through and take over from Rob Kearney.

"I thought Shane Daly did very well but he didn't get tested anywhere near as much as Larmour did.

Ruaidhri O'Connor of the Irish Independent suggested there was a central figure calling the positional shots.

"Long term, I would say Andy Farrell is having a bit of an influence in getting Stockdale to fifteen to see what he's like there," opined O'Connor.

"He probably didn't get the same kind of the test Larmour did, but that tells you where Munster thought Leinster had vulnerabilities.

"I think Jordan Larmour gives you too much on the attacking side to be ignored, he could be Ireland's Christian Cullen.

"He needs to sort that part of his game out, he's had good games, he started there for Ireland against Scotland in the World Cup.

"He's lots of good games for Leinster in that position but he needs to get that part of his game right. It's a difficult skill.

"I think Lowe will have an influence when he comes in, but I think Conway and Earls did everything they could to hold on to those jerseys."

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Read more about

Andrew Conway Jacob Stockdale James Lowe Jordan Larmour Keith Earls Keith Wood Monday Night Rugby Rob Kearney

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