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14th Dec 2020

James Lowe fires back over Chris Ashton’s far too personal criticism

Patrick McCarry

“Yeah. I mean, I wouldn’t mind having him in front of me, that’s for sure.”

A cracking performance, lots of positive involvements and a try to emphatically seal victory in the closing moments. All that James Lowe was missing on his Ireland debut, last month, was his family in the crowd. Or any crowd, in fact.

After three impressive years with Leinster, the New Zealand native became Irish qualified and instantly delivered in the Test arena. The following weekend was tougher as Ireland lost to England. Lowe came in for criticism from former England (and current Harlequins) star Chris Ashton after the game and was described as ‘too big, too heavy, too slow’.

On House of Rugby Ireland, Lowe spoke with hosts Ian Madigan and Eimear Considine about how such comments from a fellow professional stung and what he’d do if he got to meet Ashton out on the rugby field.

LISTEN to the full Lowe response (from 26:30 below) and hear how he clashed with Wales star Liam Williams on his Ireland debut:

James Lowe has been a revelation for Leinster since arriving in late 2017. (Credit: SPORTSFILE)

“It is disappointing when you see current players coming out and being critical of situations where there’s a lot of moving parts,” Madigan noted. “But, look, he’s probably trying to step up and make a bit of a name for himself.”

Lowe is currently out injured but will be hoping to nail down a place in the Ireland XV for the 2021 Guinness Six Nations. Chris Ashton has not played for England in almost two years so the only chance we may have of a meeting with Lowe is a Harlequins vs. Leinster Champions Cup encounter.

Also covered on the latest House of Rugby Ireland episode:

  • Rhys Ruddock and Josh van der Flier show Ireland what they’re missing
  • The French star who has not made a mistake in almost five seasons
  • Just how tough is it to tackle Springbok star Cheslin Kolbe?
  • Ian and Eimear discuss the recent concussion revelations and Steve Thompson’s “scary” admission



Season 3 has returned with Ian Madigan & Eimear Considine as hosts, and has already featured interviews with Brian O’Driscoll, Nigel Owens, Sean Cronin, Shane Williams, Mike Brown, CJ Stander, Ugo Monye, Sene Naoupu, Schalk Burger, Dan Leo and James Lowe.

LISTEN: You Must Be Jokin’ with Aideen McQueen – Faith healers, Coolock craic and Gigging as Gaeilge