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The big threat to Bulls' URC glory

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: If there is one man the Bulls will have to keep a close eye on this Saturday, it is James Lowe.

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The Ireland international Lowe has been in exceptional form since returning to the Leinster squad following an injury after last year’s World Cup.

The 31-year-old built on his strong campaign with a key role in the United Rugby Championship quarterfinal against Ulster last weekend.

He crossed twice in the URC quarterfinal, demonstrating raw strength with his first score before grabbing a second after improvising with the ball at his feet, as Leinster avenged their two regular-season defeats to the northern province.

Leading performances all season

Along with being one of Ireland’s star players in yet another Six Nations win, Lowe was also a key man in Leinster’s Champions Cup campaign this season.

The Irish province might have lost a third Final in a row, but Lowe scored six tries in just six games, including a brace against then-holders Stade Rochelais in the quarterfinal and a hat-trick against Northampton Saints in the semifinal at Croke Park.

That record rightly secured him a nomination for 2024 Player of the Year.

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Lowe will now travel with Leinster down to South Africa for a huge semifinal against Bulls, who edged a brave Benetton Rugby side 30-23 in their own quarterfinal.

He scored in his last appearance against the Pretoria-based club, a classic Lowe-try which demonstrated all of his ability to finish well in the corner.

If Leinster were to win, they would set up a Final against Glasgow Warriors or Munster in what could be a showpiece match between Irish rugby’s two most successful clubs.

But first, Bulls, Pretoria and Loftus Versfeld await – will Lowe be the key man once again?

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Source: ChampionsCup 

In this episode of Walk the Talk, Jim Hamilton chats with double World Cup winner Damian de Allende about all things Springbok rugby, including RWC2023 and the upcoming Ireland series. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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