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Wednesday 13 November 2019

Lowe: Irish couldn't catch a cold against NZ

FREE SPIRIT: James Lowe. Pic: Sportsfile
FREE SPIRIT: James Lowe. Pic: Sportsfile

James Lowe is different.

Watching from home, the Leinster wing left the New Zealand-England World Cup semi-final at half-time to go out and buy a washing machine.

"To be fair, I'm not a big rugby watcher anyway. I was watching the second half in an electronic store," he said.

The prescriptive nature of Ireland's play in Japan, and for some time before that, is not exactly going to excite a free-spirit, a year away from qualifying for Ireland.

A fleeting review of the World Cup quarter-final was typically straight-forward after speaking to Leinster's Ireland contingent.

"On the day, they just got spanked by a very, very good New Zealand side," he noted.

"That's how they all felt as well when they came back. Everything stuck for them and we (Ireland) couldn't catch a cold."

There is much tha t can happen between now and next November.

Anyway, Lowe is smart enough to know he must go along to get along.

"Even coming here, I was here to fit into this team, not to try and shake things up and make them play how I want them to play," he said.

Within the system, Leinster have given Lowe the licence to create chaos by embracing Stuart Lancaster's push to exploit the unstructured phase of the game.

"I do that, it's just me, I am going to come in off my wing. I'm going to do some weird stuff every now and then and, hopefully it comes off.

"You do need to be able to adapt on the run.

"You can go into a game with the perfect plan - but it's a best guess really.

"You're guessing what the opposition will do. They'll come with a plan too, and thinking on the run, seeing things unfold, the boys who get picked are those who make the quickest, best decisions under pressure.

"That's literally it. You can be big, strong, fast, but if you're out there making the wrong decisions, you're not going to get picked in the big games. I still think there's room for that free spirit."

At Leinster, Lowe is not the only one willing and able to light up the darkest of winter evenings.

It remains to be seen whether Leo Cullen will sanction the move of Jordan Larmour to full-back ahead of the worthy presence of Rob Kearney.

"He's got a big future, Jordan, a freak of an athlete. He can create things out of nothing," said Lowe.

"As he matures as a rugby player, as he gets older, he'll see the game from a different perspective.

"He'll see it a lot clearer and quicker and he'll make better decisions - as his skill set gets better."

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