'You don't want to put too much pressure on him': Rob Kearney on James Lowe's Debut

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'You Don't Want To Put Too Much Pressure On Him': Rob Kearney On James Lowe's Debut
©INPHO/Billy Stickland
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Kenneth Fox

With Ireland facing Wales this Friday in the Autumn Nations Cup, it gives Andy Farrell the chance to mix up his selection.

One of the most intriguing new additions to the squad is the recently naturalised winger James Lowe. He has shown how explosive he can be on the wing at Leinster and he certainly is a different style of player in Ireland's backline.

Speaking about what sort of impact he will have, Former Ireland full back Rob Kearney said: "I think they will want to try and get the ball into his hands as much as possible. As we move into the winter months, that is something that becomes more difficult.

"The weather does play a big impact in terms of how easily you can get the ball out to the wings.

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"You don't want to put too much pressure on someone making their debut so they will just be expecting him to do what he has done over the past few years with the ball in his hand."

Speaking about the return of Iain Henderson, Kearney said that Ireland needs "Confrontational front five players" especially with a game against England coming up next weekend.

He added "We need to be seen as a team that can go head to head with England physically because that is where we have come up short in the past."

"The more bulk and firepower we have in the pack the better because it will become increasingly important in the next few weeks."

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

With a comfortable victory against Italy and bruising loss to France on the last day of the Six Nations, the team is still taking shape.

Kearney thinks there is still a lot to come from this Ireland squad. "I don't think the verdict is still out on this Ireland team, we haven't seen their best that is for sure. You take France who are playing unbelievable at the moment and then you take Wales who are struggling at the other end.

"I would say we are probably in the middle a little bit in terms of new coaches coming in. The last few months have been disjointed and they are trying to play a different style of play which takes time to implement."

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Kearney said one of the areas where Ireland does have real strength is the back row. "I think it is one of those positions that is so attritional where you rarely have all of your players available for selection.

"I think the competition is so strong, I am not sure we are ever going to see a full nailed down back row where we can says this is our 6, this is our 7 and this our 8. We are going to see a fair bit of mix and matching over the next few weeks from Andy Farrell," he stated.

Ireland play Wales at the Aviva Stadium on Friday with kick off at 7pm.

You can watch Autumn Nations Cup action live on Premier Sports via the ‘Sports Extra’ pack on Sky.

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