Lowe leaving NZ for Ireland
NEWS: Exciting Chiefs wing James Lowe will depart New Zealand at the end of the year to join Leinster in Ireland.
At 24-years of age, Lowe is in the form of his career with three tries to his name in the opening two rounds of the Chiefs 2017 Super Rugby campaign.
"It is with a heavy heart that today [Monday] I announce I will be leaving New Zealand at the end of the year to play rugby abroad," said Lowe.
"I have taken up a three year contract with Leinster, based in Dublin, Ireland. This decision has not been an easy one. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be an All Black, but at this stage of my life and for my future, I feel this is the best decision for me.
"Leinster are a very competitive side and I am looking forward to challenging myself in another professional environment.
"Like I have mentioned I leave New Zealand with a heavy heart - I am a very passionate Tasman and Chiefs representative which made my decision to leave even harder.
"I leave behind great friends, rivalries, my family and most of all the public who have supported me throughout my short professional career in NZ.
"I am not ruling out returning to NZ rugby. At 24 I feel my best years are still to come. But for this stage of my life and with an eye to the future, I have to set myself and my future family up so they can have every opportunity in life to succeed.
Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie added: "James has made a massive contribution to the Chiefs over the past four seasons. His unique skillset, leadership and attacking mindset makes him one of the best left wings in the world. It is a smart signing by Leinster. James is a top man, great in the community and has been a pleasure to work with."
Lowe made his Super Rugby debut for the Chiefs against the Crusaders in 2014.
Renowned for his powerful left boot and evasive attacking style, Lowe has scored 18 tries in his 39 appearances for the Chiefs.
The Maori All Blacks representative showed his resilience as a teenager after being diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, a condition that left him bedridden. The affliction could not stop Lowe from realising his childhood dream of becoming a professional rugby player and he now works as an ambassador for Arthritis New Zealand to inspire young kiwi's to achieve their goals.