Leinster sign James Lowe from Chiefs
By Michael Kelleher
Last Updated: 06/03/17 11:07am
Leinster have announced the signing of Maori All Black James Lowe on a three-year deal.
The 24-year-old winger, who plays for the Chiefs in Super Rugby, will join up with the PRO12 Leaders in time for the beginning of next season.
Lowe arrives with a big reputation after scoring 18 tries in 39 appearances for the Chiefs, including three in his first two games this season. He has also scored six tries in his five appearances for the Maori All Blacks.
Leinster head coach Leo Cullen said: "James is a quality and still relatively young outside back that we have been tracking for some time, so we are delighted that he has agreed to join us.
"James has picked up considerable experience from his time with the Tasman Makos, the Chiefs and the Maori All Blacks. We hope he can bring the learnings from his time spent with these teams and really add to our environment here.
"We believe James will greatly add to the outside backs that we have and provide good competition in the squad as we look to remain competitive in both the Guinness PRO12 and the Champions Cup.
"We look forward to welcoming James to Leinster and seeing him out on the field representing the team once his commitments in New Zealand come to a close."
Lowe will fill the non-Irish qualified slot that will be left vacant by the departure of South African Zane Kirchner this summer.
He visited Ireland last November when he started and scored a try during Munster's 27-14 victory over the Maori All Blacks at Thomond Park in November and is looking forward to returning.
"I am very excited by the challenge that lies ahead at Leinster Rugby," Lowe said.
"Everyone knows about Leinster and what they have achieved over the last eight years or so but I have also spoken to a few people that I know in Leinster and they have nothing but positive things to say about the club and city. I also really enjoyed my visit to Ireland with the Maori All Blacks last year.
"I am looking forward to getting stuck in and to making an impression at my new club and contributing in whatever way I can.
"Until that time my focus is on the Chiefs and Tasman and doing as much as I can to ensure that I leave New Zealand rugby on a high."