Kiwi Lowe set for Ireland debut in Autumn Nations Cup

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Leinster's New Zealand wing James Lowe (with the ball) set for Ireland debut
Leinster's New Zealand wing James Lowe (with the ball) set for Ireland debut

New Zealand-born wing James Lowe looks set for his Test debut for Ireland after being included by head coach Andy Farrell in the squad for the Autumn Nations Cup on Thursday.

The 28-year-old highly-rated Leinster star qualifies through the residency rule having joined the province in 2017.

He could make his debut for his adopted country against Wales in their opening Nations Cup match in Dublin on November 13.

Lowe is no stranger to the Ireland set-up as Farrell had him in the training squad ahead of the resumption of the Six Nations in October.

"I am as keen as everyone to see how he (Lowe) goes at Test level," said Farrell.

"We have seen the potential he has in his performances for Leinster.

"Now we will see if he csn transfer that into the international scene.

"If I were a betting man I would say he will do well."

Farrell has tinkered with the squad that missed out on the Six Nations title last weekend after being beaten by France in Paris.

Veteran Keith Earls returns from injury, while Munster team-mate Shane Daly and Ulster's England-born Billy Burns are also included.

Daly comes in for the injured centre Garry Ringrose and the uncapped Burns replaces fly-half Jack Carty.

"Billy (Burns) spent a bit of time with us pre the coronavirus lockdown and we were very impressed with what we saw," said Farrell.

"He fitted in really well back then (February/March) but he was not fit for the resumption of the Six Nations as he had a calf problem.

"However, we watched his game in Cardiff on Monday (Ulster won 11-7 in the Pro14 match) and felt he deserved his chance to come back in."

The Irish follow their game with Wales with an away match at Twickenham to take on England on November 21.

Farrell's men host Georgia in Dublin on November 29 and will have a home play-off game against one of France, Italy, Scotland or Fiji on December 5.

Squad

Forwards: Cian Healy, Ed Byrne, Andrew Porter, John Ryan, Finlay Bealham, Rob Herring, Ronan Kelleher, Dave Heffernan, Iain Henderson, James Ryan, Quinn Roux, Tadhg Beirne, Ultan Dillane, CJ Stander, Peter O'Mahony, Josh van der Flier, Carlan Doris, Will Connors.

Backs: Conor Murray, Kieran Marmion, Jamison Gibson-Park, Johnny Sexton (captain), Ross Byrne, Billy Burns, Bundee Aki, Robbie Henshaw, Chris Farrell, Stuart McCloskey, Keith Earls, Andrew Conway, Jacob Stockdale, James Lowe, Shane Daly, Hugo Keenan.

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