The ‘unbelievable’ Springboks legend that Ireland star ‘looks up to’ ahead of URC showdown

Simon Thomas
Leinster fullback Jordan Larmour and Bulls and Springboks star Willie Le Roux.

Leinster fullback Jordan Larmour and Bulls and Springboks star Willie Le Roux.

Ahead of the crunch United Rugby Championship (URC) clash between Leinster and the Bulls, full-back Jordan Larmour has revealed that Springboks great Willie le Roux is a player who he “looks up to”.

Larmour is primed to return to the Leinster matchday squad this weekend after featuring twice for Ireland during their successful Six Nations campaign.

In doing so, he is likely to come up against double Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok full-back Le Roux, who Larmour believes “ticks all the boxes as a 15”.

Jordan Larmour v Willie le Roux

The Friday night clash at the RDS is a mouth-watering top-of-the-table meeting – which provides the Bulls the opportunity to replace Leinster in first place.

Larmour heads into the game off the back of featuring as a replacement in Ireland’s Six Nations match against Italy before being a last-minute substitute for Hugo Keenan in the Super Saturday clash against Scotland.

As for Le Roux, he produced a Player of the Match performance in the Bulls’ victory over Dragons RFC at Rodney Parade on the weekend, putting in an attacking masterclass.

“He is an incredible player. He kind of ticks all the boxes as a 15,” Larmour said of Le Roux.

“He’s someone I looked up to when I was growing up, watching Ireland and the Lions play South Africa. He’s unbelievable in attack, a great defender, great under the high ball. He has all those attributes as a great 15.

“So if I get the chance to play against him this weekend, it will be really cool. He’s definitely a player I look up to.”

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Representing Ireland again

Larmour’s late call as Keenan’s replacement against Scotland was his first start in the Ireland jersey since 2021.

“I got the nod late, but I kind of knew in the back of my head I could have a chance because Hugo was carrying a small knock,” said the 26-year-old.

“Then when I got the call, I didn’t really have time to think about anything, I was just straight in. The warm-up was just about to get underway.

“Andy Farrell just said to go out and back yourself and do your thing and fully commit to it, so that’s what I tried to do. It was a great week to be a part of and a good way to finish it off.

“I still have ambitions to play for Ireland. Coming off the bench against Italy, it was good to get that taste for international rugby again after three years, so I just wanted to get more.

“Getting to start a game and finish how we did was very special.”

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A “buzz” to front up against the Bulls

The outside back says there is a “buzz” in the Leinster camp as the Ireland internationals return from Test duty ahead of the highly-anticipated clash against the South African side.

Larmour adds that they are wary of the threats that the Bulls pose with all their attacking weapons with Le Roux featuring in a backline along with fellow Springboks and World Cup winners Canan Moodie and Kurt-Lee Arendse.

“There’s a real buzz in the camp,” said the Dubliner.

“We have watched a good bit of the Bulls, and they have attacking threats all over the field.

“Then, in defence, they bring a lot of line speed and come hard. They compete hard at the breakdown trying to slow the ruck down. So it’s going to be a proper test for us.

“But it’s one that hugely excites you. It’s first playing second, there’s not too many points between us. It will be a huge match.”

Giving a sense of what kind of occasion it will be at the RDS, he added: “Any game I have played there on a Friday night under the lights, the place has been rocking.

“Everyone comes out. It’s a special place to play when it’s sold out, with all the fans cheering us on. It’s just a great buzz, so I’m looking forward to that.”

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