Monday 21 January 2019

McCarthy moves on as Leinster sign new talent

James Lowe
James Lowe

Hot property James Lowe has explained his reasons behind signing a three-year contract at Leinster.

This effectively places the left wing in the category of Ireland project player.

"This decision has not been an easy one," said Lowe.

"For this stage of my life, and with an eye to the future, I have to set myself and my future family up so they can have every opportunity in life to succeed."

The 24-year-old Maori All Black would have been well known to Hayden Triggs and Jamison Gibson-Park.

The Waikato Chief is convinced his future is better served at Leinster than playing in behind Julian Savea and others ahead of him in New Zealand.

"For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be an All Black," he continued.

"But at this stage of my life and for my future, I feel this is the best decision for me."

This is highly likely to trigger the release of Springbok Zane Kirchner, given how Isa Nacewa confirmed last week that the club captain will play on for at least another season.

The revolving door continues to turn at the province as Ireland international Mike McCarthy will leave for French club Narbonne in the summer.

The 35-year-old Ireland second row has been elbowed out of first choice by Triggs.

"I have loved my time in Leinster Rugby and am very grateful for my time here," issued McCarthy.

"But this is an excellent opportunity for me and for my young family and I am really excited for the challenge with Narbonne.

"There is a lot of ambition amongst the President and coaching team to rebuild this historic club and I'm really looking forward to playing a part in achieving this."

The move of McCarthy, after four seasons of fully committed service to Leinster, may not be the end of the second row reshuffle for next season.

The experienced duo of Ian Nagle and Triggs may be playing out their final months, as Wallaby Scott Fardy has been signed from The Brumbies.

In addition, last year's Ireland U20 captain James Ryan has been promoted to a senior contract before making his debut.

This is due to a Grade 3 hamstring tear, which he is scheduled to return from in April.

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