Jacob Stockdale is relishing the prospect of increased competition within the Ireland setup.
Earlier this week it was announced that James Lowe has signed with Leinster for a further three seasons meaning the New Zealand native will be eligible for Ireland selection in the near future.
Since joining the eastern province in 2017, Lowe has become a fan favourite among the Leinster support and has scored 140 points in 43 appearances.
It is expected that he will now go straight into the Ireland setup with himself and Stockdale set to fight it out for the number 11 jersey.
However, the 24-year-old Ulster winger rejected the notion that he may fall victim to the residency rule which has become a long-running debate in Irish rugby circles.
“Ireland have benefitted from Irish qualified players with Bundee Aki and CJ Stander, they’ve only strengthened the team,” Stockdale said.
“They bring extra competition and realistically to be competitive you want the coach to have a headache every time he has to pick the team.
“That back three position with myself, Keith Earls, Andrew Conway, Jordan Larmour. There are some seriously talented players in there and it’s already a very competitive area.”
Stockdale continued outlining that he is excited at the prospect of Lowe playing for Ireland, however, the Ulster man set out his stall by saying he plans of keeping his position.
“To make it even more competitive I think it is only a good thing because it forces everyone to push each other along,” he said.
“I’m excited about the prospect of James playing for Ireland and I’m planning on keeping my position.”
Stockdale has made 28 appearances for Ireland since making his debut in 2017 before going on to score a record seven tries during Ireland’s Six Nations Grand Slam-winning season in 2018.