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21st Apr 2018

Johnny Sexton reveals what he was shouting at Jordan Larmour during Leinster’s victory

First Jacob Stockdale, now Jordan Larmour

Patrick McCarry

First Jacob Stockdale, now Jordan Larmour

Ahead of Leinster’s Champions Cup semi-final with Scarlets, Dan Leavy was asked about Johnny Sexton’s famous habit of barking orders out on the pitch. The flanker replied:

“Johnny gives out to everyone, every week… about everything!”

The Leinster outhalf, who captained them in the 38-16 victory over Scarlets, is rarely quiet for long when he is playing. Referees, teammates, opponents, they all know he is about. In the Six Nations, Sexton was caught on the referee microphone scolding Stockdale to ‘Get up in the f***ing line!’ during Ireland’s win over Italy.

On Saturday, despite being well ahead in their Champions Cup semi final, Sexton gave young winger Jordan Larmour a piece of advice, and his mind while he was at it.

Larmour made a crucial rip, and steal, from Rhys Patchell after chasing an aerial bomb from Sexton. It was a fine bit of play that, a few phases later, led to a try from Scott Fardy.

The 20-year-old was guilty, though, of calling the ball on himself and gunning for an attempted tryline of his own a few minutes later. He ended up getting barrelled out, a couple of metres short, to give Scarlets a lineout and a chance to exit their 22.

Asked what he was shouting at Larmour out on the pitch, Sexton dead-panned, “He backs himself.”

“He backed himself against 10 Scarlets, with a six-man overlap!

“So I said ‘Did you call for the ball?’, and he said, ‘Yeah’.

“So he just didn’t manage to beat one of them. But that’s the beauty of it I suppose, the young lads, they back themselves and I thought he had a great game in the second half.

“When you lose a player like Fergus who brings so much to the team, to have him stepping in and the quality he brings was brilliant.”

Larmour is still very much a work in progress but, as he has shown on numerous occasions this season, he is a special attacking talent. Sexton can obviously see his potential and that, like Stockdale, is why he does not hold back in dressing him down.

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen believes senior platyers like Sexton, Rob Kearney, Cian Healy and Scott Fardy are key in driving standards at the club.

“There is an onus on the older guys to lead the preparation going into those big games and try not to change too much,” he noted. “We prepared really well this week. We will try very hard not to do anything too different to the final.

“But there is an onus on the young lads too to really step up as well and a lot of them will have tasted the Grand Slam success which will be really important and beneficial for them going into the final.”