Michael Lowry keen to carry forward Ireland summer positives into Ulster

Michael Lowry wants to take the experience of training with Ireland during the summer into the new season with Ulster.

By Ciaran Donaghy
Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 1:00 pm

The versatile back was called up to Andy Farrell’s squad for the summer tests against Japan and the USA but didn’t earn a cap.

“It was a great experience, I was a late call-up to the camp, but I thought I learnt a lot from just being around those sorts of players and the coaching staff,” enthused Lowry. “I learned a lot and then bringing it back to Ulster I feel that it has added a lot of experience (for myself) even though I actually haven’t played a game.

“I was in and around the game days and I feel that it added experience (for me).

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Ulster coach Dan McFarland. Pic by PressEye Ltd

“And to bring that back to Ulster and help boys coming through or boys who weren’t at the camp, I feel that I’ve a bigger role to play now.

“I hope that he (Andy Farrell) was pleased enough.

“I hope I put myself in a good and positive mind-set for him.

“Selection is out of my control and is in his. All I can do is focus on playing well and forcing him to pick me.

“Control my controllables is what I’m focusing on and that’s what they (Ireland coaching team) said to me really.”

Lowry made 14 starts at full back last season and four at out half and switched between the two positions for Ireland as well in the training camp.

“When I was there, I played a bit of both I hope to eventually play a lot more at 10,” he said. “I was originally down there as a 10 through injuries so I trained a bit there.

“Then there were a few more injuries so I ended up training at full-back, I think it’s still a good situation to be in that I can help them out at both really.”

Lowry wants to nail the No10 down shirt at Ulster.

“That’s hopefully my ambition and plan to get a bit more game-time at 10, it’s exciting times and I’ll give it a go.”

Lowry won three Schools’ Cups at RBAI under Dan Soper and he sees no difference in the Kiwi after he was promoted from skills coach to assistant coach at Kingspan Stadium.

“He has always had the same sort of coaching style and we all buy into it now,” said Lowry. “I think all the lads definitely buy into it and it’s a great way to coach the way he does.

“We did well in that pre-season game against Saracens but we realise how many opportunities we still have and we need to execute a bit more, we could be a seriously dangerous side.”

Ulster kick off their United Rugby Championship at home to Glasgow tomorrow.

“Especially in front of your own fans you need to get off to a winning start,” he said. “There might not be too many home games.

“And it’s always important to get a good start to put you on the front-foot in the league standings and to get a bit of confidence around the camp as well.”

Meanwhile, Connacht Rugby and the URC have confirmed the Round 5 fixture between Connacht and Ulster will take place at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, October 23 (KO 5.15pm).

The fixture is due to be the first professional sporting event in the Republic of Ireland following the planned relaxation of most of the remaining COVID-19 restrictions the previous day.

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