"Both teams want to knock the heads off each other" - James Lowe on Munster Leinster rivalry
"I know we're top of the table, but only just."
James Lowe and Jordan Larmour got themselves a nice perch in the St Mary's clubhouse, this afternoon, and a chance to catch their breath after a morning tear-about with young rugby players.
The wingers were at the Dublin club to help launch Leinster's upcoming rugby camps, over the summer, and the focus has already switched from Ireland duty at the Six Nations to upcoming United Rugby Championship and European Cup fixtures.
While Larmour [hip flexor] is expected to miss out on the next two or three matches on the Leinster schedule, his fellow winger is itching to be involved in as much action as his coaches will allow.
Lowe is not long back from a Las Vegas marriage to his long-term partner, Arnica Palmer, and sporting the ring and the hazy smile to show it. He played three times in the Six Nations, and bagged three tries, but Munster are now firmly in his sights.
"Both teams want to knock the heads off each," he declares.
"We've been best friends for the last 10 weeks but, as soon as you put on a different coloured jumper, all that is left at the door and the rivalry begins.
"Mate, we're looking forward to the challenge and 7 o'clock on Saturday night, there will be a couple of beers after... but for that 80 minutes, we'll probably want to knock each other's heads off."
James Lowe on challenge of facing Munster
The added spice for this Munster vs. Leinster clash is that it will be held at a sold-out Thomond Park, on Saturday night. The place will be roiling, even before a ball is kicked.
"It adds to it, doesn't it?" says James Lowe.
"It's arguably the biggest rivalry in club rugby, that Leinster Munster game. I'm looking forward to it. Like, for 80 minutes, you hate each other. The crowd included.
"But afterward, they'll stand there and clap you off, win or lose. That's all part of it. I just hope we can put in a performance we're proud of, come Saturday."
Asked if he can set aside bonds formed with Munster players during the Six Nations window and 'get physical', Lowe says, "That's the plan.
"It doesn't matter who is in the opposition. Like I said, for that 80 minutes it is no holds barred and the feeling is mutual. The relationships off the field that we've managed to develop, that's awesome, in terms of how well Ireland is going, but it's a derby and no-one is going to turn up half-hearted."
James Lowe and Jordan Larmour were speaking at the official launch of the 2022 Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby Summer Camps, at St Mary’s College RFC this afternoon. The summer camps, which will take place in 29 different locations all across the province in July and August, offering children [boys and girls aged six to 12] the chance to learn to play the Leinster way, while having plenty of fun.
WATCH HOUSE OF RUGBY HERE: