Eddie O’Sullivan Thinks James Lowe Could Have A Negative Effect On Irish Rugby


Former Ireland head coach Eddie O’Sullivan was critical of Leinster’s decision to sign New Zealand winger James Lowe last night on Against The Head.

O’Sullivan says there’s no doubting how good Lowe is, but he feels his arrival may have a negative effect on Irish Rugby. He feels Lowe is taking up a slot that will prevent young Irish players from coming through.

“There’s no doubt he’s a top end player,” Eddie O’Sullivan said

“The question we had when he arrived is that there’s somebody else going to pay a price for him being there.

“There is a young Leinster back going to lose out because James Lowe has come in. To me, it’s a pity because they have produced great outside backs.

“Like Larmour has come out of that same stable. And there’s some other young Leinster player not going to get an opportunity.

“I was critical at the start, I think he’s delivered, I should expect him to deliver. But he is actually taking up a slot.”

O’Sullivan thinks perhaps Leinster should have used that slot for a different position.

“My point is more about being strategic about their recruitment. Would Leinster have been better off finding a player in another position when you have that many talented backs?”

“If we’re talking about planning and strategising and building depth into the squads, then these academy players have to see an opportunity as well.

“We’re telling them not to go abroad or they’ll never see an Irish shirt again. You’re giving them a Hobson’s choice.”

When you look at Leinster’s options in the back-three, not even including academy players, O’Sullivan may have a point. Should Leinster have brought in maybe another lock or even a center instead, considering Ryan, Toner, Henshaw and Ringrose will be on Ireland duty a lot of the time?

Leinster’s back-three options

Adam Byrne
Joey Carbery
Rob Kearney
Dave Kearney
Jordan Larmour
Barry Daly
Isa Nacewa
Fergus McFadden
James Lowe

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