Chiefs winger James Lowe will sign off from New Zealand Rugby at the conclusion of the 2017 Super Rugby season, and naturally, the decision was a long time in coming.

The 24-year old is enjoying another impressive season under Dave Rennie at the Chiefs, his fourth in a row since signing with the club. Representing his beloved Tasman in Provincial rugby, Lowe has steadily grown into one of the surest bets for a shot in the All Blacks, or so we all thought.

In 2016, after his greatest run of form yet, many were shocked not to hear Lowe’s name read out on the All Blacks team sheet for the Steinlager Series against Wales.

James Lowe Reflects On Missing Chance With All Blacks

Lowe didn’t talk about his disappointment publicly, but displayed to the All Black selectors just what they’d missed out on by continuing to evolve his all-round game. In 2017 alone, Lowe has racked up seven tries from ten games, and his punting ability off the left boot could match anyone else in the competition.

When asked about missing out on the All Blacks and his decision to leave New Zealand, Lowe was very honest about his feelings toward the situation.

“You’ve got to weigh up who else there is and see why you don’t get picked”, Lowe said.

“The talent list in New Zealand just goes on and on so that’s something I had to come to terms with in the end”.

“There is always motivation to win in rugby and that’s the reason why you’re in this game, so yeah it was disappointing, but I’d love to leave New Zealand with a Super Rugby title on my CV”.

To Play For Both Or One?

But for now, Lowe could find himself with another interesting discussion to have with Chiefs coach Dave Rennie and Maori All Blacks coach Colin Cooper.

James Lowe of the Maori scores a try during Harlequins v Maori All Blacks at Twickenham Stoop , London - 16/12/2016 © Matthew Impey / Photosport.nz
James Lowe of the Maori scores a try during Harlequins v Maori All Blacks at Twickenham Stoop , London – 16/12/2016
© Matthew Impey / Photosport.nz

The Maori All Blacks take on the Lions on Saturday 17th June, and then a few days later, the Chiefs play the tourists in Hamilton. Lowe is eligible to play in both games, and while he is desperately keen to do so; his age which is currently 24 says that it won’t be his decision in the end.

“I’d love to play in both games, but that won’t be my decision”, Lowe said.

(L-R) James Lowe, Brad Weber, Andrew Horrell after defeating the Welsh midweek last season. Lowe would love to be wearing a Lions jersey with the same result. Copyright Photo: Bruce Lim / www.photosport.nz
(L-R) James Lowe, Brad Weber, Andrew Horrell after defeating the Welsh midweek last season. Lowe would love to be wearing a Lions jersey with the same result.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Lim / www.photosport.nz

The Lions tour to New Zealand kicks off on June 3rd in a clash against the Provincial Barbarians, and Lowe says that the nature of the schedule will put the All Blacks in prime position to win the hotly-anticipated Test series.

“The tour is in New Zealand’s favour because of the quick turnaround of games, it’s cruel in a way but that’s what both parties have agreed to”, Lowe said.

Photos: www.photosport.nz

Michael Pulman

Author: Michael Pulman

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