The former Maori All Black is now wreaking havoc for his adopted nation
Who is James Lowe: Ten things you should know about the Ireland wing
James Lowe has emerged from relative obscurity in New Zealand to become a feature of successful Leinster and Ireland sides.
The wing, who marries an industrious style with smart finishing, is making up for lost time after a solid but unremarkable start to his career.
Ten things you should know about James Lowe
1. James Francis Rawiri Lowe was born on 8 July 1992 in Nelson, New Zealand. He has Maori heritage and affiliates with the Ngapuhi and Ngai Te Rangi iwi.
2. Educated at Nelson College, New Zealand’s oldest secondary state school, Lowe was a versatile sportsman in his youth. Alongside his rugby, he won athletics competitions and played basketball for New Zealand U15.
However, a juvenile rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis when he was 14 slowed his sporting progress until he found the right medication.
3. Strong performances for Tasman Mako earned him a Super Rugby contract with the Chiefs for the 2014 campaign. He would spend four seasons with the Hamilton-based franchise, reaching the semi-finals twice and finishing as the competition’s third highest try-scorer in 2017.
4. He played four games and scored three tries for the Maori All Blacks, but was never able to break into the New Zealand side.
5. He left the Chiefs for Leinster in 2017 and scored two tries on debut against Benetton.
6. After qualifying for Ireland through the three-year residency rule, Lowe debuted for Ireland in their 2020 Autumn Nations Cup match against Wales.
7. He scored the opening try in Ireland’s 29-20 victory over New Zealand in November 2021.
9. He has been criticised for defensive frailties, but his improvements in that area were displayed during the famous win over his country of birth, as Lowe made a crucial tackle on Rieko Ioane in the closing stages.
After the game, a gleeful Lowe told Channel 4: “You b********s always talk about my (defence), and I got up and I whacked Rieko and we got the turnover from it.”
10. He began 2022 in style, scoring three tries in three matches as Ireland won the Six Nations Triple Crown. Subsequent outstanding showings for Leinster, including eight tries in five Champions Cup knockout games, enhanced his reputation as one of the world’s elite wingers.
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