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James Lowe warns Six Nations rivals that ‘Ireland have yet to hit top gear’

James Lowe during an Ireland rugby squad training session at the IRFU High Performance Centre. Photo by: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile© SPORTSFILE


James Lowe has sent out a warning to Ireland’s Six Nations rivals by insisting that he and Ireland team-mates have not yet hit top gear.

The winger, who has scored a try in each of Ireland’s wins over Wales and France, believes there is still much more to come.

Ireland travel to Rome on Saturday expecting to make it three wins from three, though they are likely to do so without Johnny Sexton, who’s recovering from a groin injury. Ross Byrne is set to start in Sexton’s place, while hooker Dan Sheehan has declared himself fully fit after missing the France game due to a hamstring issue.

Lowe is likely to continue on the left wing, and called on Ireland to deliver what he feels would be their first 80-minute performance of the campaign. “Obviously outcome-wise, we’re very, very happy, two very good wins, but there are things to work on,” Lowe said. “I don’t want to say too much of a cliché here but we weren’t good enough in some aspects of our game and it was nice to be able to reflect on it in a down week and hopefully implement it and be better against Italy.

“I think the team is playing very, very well at the moment. Everyone has got a proper understanding of their roles and responsibilities in the week and Saturday is when we get to express it.

“Things are going well, we need to hold onto the momentum. We know performance is the main thing, and we don’t think we’ve put in a complete 80 (-minute performance) yet.”

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