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James Lowe aims to make Leinster ‘hated’ like the Crusaders

James Lowe

James Lowe has said that he wants Leinster to be hated by players and fans across Europe based on their success.

Leinster last failed to win silverware back in 2017, as they claimed their fourth Pro14 title in-a-row last season, but they have had less success in Europe recently, having last won the Heineken Champions Cup in 2018.

Lowe was playing for Leinster back then, although he didn’t appear in the province’s Champions Cup final victory against Racing 92 as only two non-European players were allowed to feature for each team, and Lowe had yet to qualify for Ireland.

The talented winger is clearly eager to get his hands on the Champions Cup trophy, telling RugbyPass that he wants Leinster to be hated like the Crusaders are due to their impressive trophy haul in Super Rugby.

James Lowe on wanting Leinster to be hated.

“I hate the Crusaders, just to put it out there. I have loved playing them and I grew up in the Crusader region so it’s a funny thing for me to say,” Lowe said.

“I don’t hate them as a people, I just don’t like them as a franchise because I have played against them and lost against them so many times. So, that’s loosely thrown out that hate term.

“A lot of my best friends play for their team and I went to school with a few other starters and you hate them because they’re so good. That’s how I would love to be seen like that at Leinster.

“It’s just one of those things that they’ve been so good for so many years they’ve won numerous titles back to back so that’s where the hatred is, only because they’re so good.”

Leo Cullen’s side will look to add a fifth start to their jersey.

Leinster are an unpopular team among some players already, as Simon Zebo admitted that he wants them to lose all the time a couple of years ago, although they probably haven’t been successful enough in Europe to be disliked as much outside of Ireland.

The Irish province are second only to Toulouse in holding the record for the most Heineken Champions Cup trophies collected, having won the tournament on four occasions, but they have underperformed in Europe in the last two seasons.

Leo Cullen’s side will be eager to start off on the right foot against Bath today in their first Champions Cup match of the season, and are strong favourites to dispatch of the struggling English side.

Tougher challenges will lie ahead for Leinster, but a bonus-point win at the Aviva Stadium today would go a long way to securing their place in the last 16.

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