UK news Could threat of James Lowe's Ireland arrival push Jacob Stockdale back to his best? last news
MetiNews.Com - James Lowe was signed to play for Ireland and, injury and pandemic permitting, he will make his debut in green during the busy autumn schedule of 2020.
Breaking News ! "James Lowe was signed to play for Ireland and, injury and pandemic permitting, he will make his debut in green during the busy autumn schedule of 2020. Andy Farrell will welcome the talented Kiwi into his squad with open arms. His rivals for the jersey will be less enthusiastic and it is Ulster winger Jacob Stockdale whose place is most threatened.Both men have what it takes to play for the Lions in South Africa next year and the head coach is surely hoping that the threat from Lowe will get a response from Stockdale, whose form has slipped since he burst on to the scene with a record-breaking 2017/18 season.After suffering a loss of confidence during the 2019 World Cup, Stockdale had a horror-show in the quarter-final against the All Blacks. He repeated that nightmare on Ireland's last outing at Twickenham.If things had continued as normal, his place would have been under threat, but the long stoppage has allowed players to reset and the restart will be treated as a clean slate.And there is no doubting that the 24-year-old, who has already crossed the line 18 times in 28 internationals, has what it takes to get back to his best.The competition provided by Lowe's arrival might be just what he needs.Although the current schedule is not confirmed, under current plans Ireland will have two games before Lowe is available as they complete the Six Nations against Italy on October 24 and France on October 31.Then, the back-three field will become more crowded and it will be difficult to keep the effervescent 27-year-old Lowe out of the team given he brings so much to the party.Ireland have a collection of talented backs, but Lowe's all-action style and, in particular, his offloading game set him apart.The big question is whether he can translate it to the highest level.The All Blacks thought so. But for an ill-timed shoulder injury he'd have played for the land of his birth in 2015. Instead, five years later he will line out for Ireland.Off the pitch, Lowe's ebullient character will add greatly to what is increasingly a quiet dressing-room.
. He scores a lot of tries, but the Kiwi rarely takes a backward step in contact and is well able to give as much as he takes if temperatures reach boiling point.The transition should be smooth given Lowe has an existing relationship with Johnny Sexton, Robbie Henshaw, Garry Ringrose and Jordan Larmour from Leinster and Bundee Aki from the Chiefs.Currently in New Zealand and due to self-isolate for two weeks when he returns, Lowe may be in a race to be fit for the first couple of games after rugby's restart.But his presence in the August interpros would certainly add to the occasion at the Aviva Stadium when he goes up against Andrew Conway and Keith Earls in the opening Leinster v Munster game and then gets a head-to-head against Stockdale a week later.The way things are set to play out, Leinster and Munster may yet meet again in the Guinness PRO14 semi-final, and Ulster have a good shot at making the final, so they could see plenty of each other before September is out.Lowe's presence will light a fire under all of the back-three players. Conway started against England with Earls coming off the bench. Both appear to be vying for the No.14 shirt, but Stockdale can play at full-back and that could bring Larmour into the wing equation.The crowded schedule will afford Farrell and his attack coach Mike Catt scope to experiment across potentially seven internationals in a row. By the end of all of that, they'll know exactly what they've got in Lowe.As a project player, his presence in the Ireland panel will garner some negative commentary, but the fact the three-year residency law has been extended to five has taken the heat out of that debate that raged when CJ Stander, Aki and Jean Kleyn became Irish players.Still, imported internationals always have a little more to prove. He's spoken openly about his motivations in coming to Ireland and, while not all of the 'projects' have shone in green, he has the capacity to leave a real mark in the way Stander and Aki did before him.The IRFU made sure to get him in before the extension came into effect because they knew how good he is.Signed up until 2023, he will be a major player for Ireland at the next World Cup, it just remains to be seen how Farrell will accommodate him and who will miss out as a result of his arrival."
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