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James Lowe responds to Chris Ashton’s ‘too slow’ comment

James Lowe has responded to Chris Ashton’s criticism of his failure to catch Johnny May during Ireland’s encounter with England in the Autumn Nations Cup.

The former England winger questioned why Lowe was nowhere to be seen for Johnny May’s second try against the Irish, labelling the Leinster man as “too slow”.

“If I was a winger on the opposite side of the pitch from Jonny; say I was James Lowe on the Ireland team. When Jonny shanks that kick across the pitch my job is to go across the pitch and get the ball.

“Where was James Lowe? He’s dragging a dresser back there. He’s too big. He’s dragging a tractor, mate, turning. I watched him during the game. He is too big, too heavy, too slow,” Ashton commented.

‘I take it on the chin’

Lowe was speaking to RugbyPass about the incident and agreed that he was largely at fault for the try.

“For [the criticism] to come from a player, someone that is recently out of the sport, to another person who’s just coming on to the international stage, it’s so tough.

“You miss one moment and all of a sudden Jonny May scores one of the tries of the year and that there could have easily been stopped by me if I had gone back, if I had literally just done my job.

“I take that on the chin any day of the week. If you want to look into what really led up to that. We got into the position, we were in, because I chased a kick, and hit Billy, and tried to be a nuisance at the ruck.

“I ran back and then turned around and chased a box kick. Ended up getting us a penalty, we kicked the corner, then that’s how the lineout happened.

“I was absolutely b*****ed at that stage and that’s no excuse, by any means, because it’s international rugby. This is what’s expected of you, that’s your job. I should have been there. I take it on the chin,” Lowe said.

That was Lowe’s last appearance for Ireland after the New Zealand-born winger suffered a groin injury and the former Chief will again be unavailable for Leinster in their Heineken Champions Cup opener against Montpellier.

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