Wednesday 24 October 2018

'It's a complete logjam' - Eddie O'Sullivan questions why Leinster signed James Lowe

James Lowe of Leinster
James Lowe of Leinster
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Former Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan has questioned whether Leinster were wise to sign wing James Lowe given the province's reserve of back three talent.

Lowe made a spectacular two-try Man of the Match debut against Treviso last weekend, but before his arrival Barry Daly, Jordan Larmour and Adam Byrne had all produced eye-catching performances on the wing for Leinster this season.

The former Super Rugby star is an undoubted game-breaker, but O'Sullivan thinks that it could hurt Irish rugby in the long-run if Lowe sees extensive game time at the expense of a current Leinster youngster.

Speaking on Off The Ball last night, O'Sullivan outlined his misgivings surrounding Lowe's signing.

"Looking at the logjam that Leinster have, I just wonder why James Lowe was brought in at all because if you look at the players they have now, they have Isa Nacewa, Fergus McFadden, Adam Byrne, Barry Daly, Jordan Larmour, Jack Kelly, Ian Fitzpatrick, Hugo Keenan," O'Sullivan said.

"If you were a young winger now, Lowe is 25-years-of-age, he's not some 30-year-old, 50-cap All-Black, who's going to bring a huge, vast wealth of experience from playing with the All Blacks. He's as young as the lads around him and it's a complete logjam in their wing positions.

"I think it's a funny signing in the sense that if you're a young winger at Leinster now, you'd wonder where your future lies.

"The same debate with Jordi Murphy. There is a similar scenario for Leinster building up in the back three as in the back row. It's a good problem for Leinster but from Irish rugby's point of view it is a problem.

It was put to O'Sullivan that Leinster's young players could learn a lot from working alongside someone of Lowe's quality, but the ex-Ireland boss disagreed with that notion.

"I don't see how, why is he some messiah that is going to walk into Leinster? He is 25 years of age. He doesn't have this vast wealth of experience that we've seen from other players who have come in," he said.

"How is he going to give this massive shift for the young fellas because he is not much older than most of them?"

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