James Lowe joins House of Rugby to talk Test debuts, Liam Williams and Chris Ashton
"I don’t know… it’s a bit much."
We often hear current rugby players criticised for being too bland during their media interviews and spots of punditry. Chris Ashton could never be accused of that.
The Harlequins and England winger is doing some work, of late, and he has not been short of opinions. Following England's Autumn Nations Cup win over Ireland, Ashton criticised James Lowe for his role in Jonny May's fantastic try and declared the Leinster winger was 'too big, too heavy, too slow'.
On House of Rugby Ireland, Lowe spoke with hosts Ian Madigan and Eimear Considine about how such comments from a fellow professional stung and what he'd do if he got to meet Ashton out on the rugby field.
LISTEN to the full James Lowe interview here:
On that defeat to England, Lowe believes Ireland still have a couple of gears to go through in 2021 but gave credit to Eddie Jones' side for a much-deserved victory.
"They don’t play too much rugby, but the rugby that they do play is pretty to watch, as hard as it is for me to say that.
"They don’t play much, they kick the ball a lot and they’re very clinical. They’re physical and thy defend well. It’s very basic and very simple. It sounds very simple. It’s easy to say it’s simple but that’s it. That’s how they’re playing and that’s how they’re winning."
On the criticism from Ashton, who has 44 Test caps with England, Lowe admits he did not 'hear the full context of everything' but is well aware of the headline comments. He added:
"I will stand up and say that Jonny May try, I didn’t think he was going to score that, and I know it’s my role to get back there and stop it. I fully understand that.
"But as someone who’s still a player, or he’s still playing professional rugby, who would probably have more of a player’s perspective on things… could probably have understood or worded it in a different way. To come from another player, I don’t know… it’s a bit much. Someone who actually understands the game and the context of a game. I didn’t think it was very nice."
"It is disappointing when you see current players coming out and being critical of situations where there’s a lot of moving parts," said Ian Madigan.
"But, look, he’s probably trying to step up and make a bit of a name for himself." To that, Lowe replied:
"I mean, I wouldn’t mind him in front of me, that’s for sure. Yeah, like it’s easy… I took responsibility. I should have been there and I should have stopped it. I was absolutely b*****ed, in fairness.
"For someone who has also played international rugby and would have a fair amount of understanding. But, like I said, I didn’t hear it or see the context of how he was saying it. But I wouldn’t mind him in front of me, every now and then. See how we go."
Lowe is currently out injured but will be hoping to nail down a place in the Ireland XV for the 2021 Guinness Six Nations. Chris Ashton has not played for England in almost two years so the only chance we may have of a meeting with Lowe is a Harlequins vs. Leinster Champions Cup encounter.
Also covered on the latest House of Rugby Ireland episode:
- Rhys Ruddock and Josh van der Flier show Ireland what they're missing
- The French star who has not made a mistake in almost five seasons
- Just how tough is it to tackle Springbok star Cheslin Kolbe?
- Ian and Eimear discuss the recent concussion revelations and Steve Thompson's "scary" admission
YOU CAN WATCH THAT FULL EPISODE HERE:
SUBSCRIBE TO HOUSE OF RUGBY IRELAND HERE
Season 3 has returned with Ian Madigan & Eimear Considine as hosts, and has already featured interviews with Brian O'Driscoll, Nigel Owens, Sean Cronin, Shane Williams, Mike Brown, CJ Stander, Ugo Monye, Sene Naoupu, Schalk Burger, Dan Leo and James Lowe.