James Lowe pens new contract with Leinster after staggering 18-month stretch 5 months ago

James Lowe pens new contract with Leinster after staggering 18-month stretch

The 30-year-old is sticking around Leinster and hoping to add to his trophy collection.

Back in June 2020, before he had even made his Ireland debut, James Lowe had a Leinster contract announced that did not mention the duration.

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There were still concerns, in some parts, that the winger could be tempted elsewhere and not end up playing for Ireland. In recent years, Leinster have announced contracts and extensions without including the lengths of deals. It led to some speculation over Lowe, only for the former Chiefs star to take to social media and confirm it was a three year deal.

Lowe ended up making his Test debut with Ireland later that year and, after an injury-impinged dip that followed not long after his excellent debut, he is now in the form of his life. Going back to the start of last season, Lowe has stacked up some incredible numbers:

  • 2021/22 - 22 games (20 starts), 20 wins, 18 tries, Triple Crown (Ireland), Test Series win in New Zealand
  • 2022/23 - 11 games (11 starts), 11 wins, six tries, Six Nations Grand Slam, Six Nations Team of the Championship

Setting aside any more personal accolades, Lowe will be keen to add more starts, wins and silverware to that impressive recent haul. He limped out of the 55-24 Champions Cup quarter final win over Leicester Tigers but could yet return for the last four clash with Toulouse.

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James Lowe James Lowe of Leinster reacts during the Heineken Champions Cup Semi-Final match against Toulouse, in 2022. (Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile)

Intriguing quirk to James Lowe contract announcement

Lowe has also signed another contract with Leinster. Again, as the deal is not with the IRFU, there was no contract length mentioned with the Leinster announcement.

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The IRFU have cut down on central contracts in recent years, but it is somewhat surprising that James Lowe was not given one. Only this week, the union announced contract extensions for James Ryan (up until 2025) and Josh van der Flier (2026).

Given the form of Lowe, and how highly regarded he is by his coaches and teammates at Leinster and Ireland, one suspects the contract is for either two or three years.

Other IRFU contract announcements made in the past two years have included Tadhg Furlong [2025], Garry Ringrose [2025], Peter O'Mahony [2024] and Tadhg Beirne [2025], with Keith Earls and Johnny Sexton both signing on with the union until the end of the World Cup, later this year. Bundee Aki (Connacht) has a central contract until the end of 2023/24.

Ulster captain Iain Henderson's central contract is set to expire at the end of this season, with the forward being linked with a possible move to Japan after the World Cup. Jacob Stockdale signed a three-year central contract in 2020 but will just be on a deal with Ulster from next season.

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