Leinster rugby star James Lowe is in Kilkenny, to delight of Cat Laughs crowd

Kiwi's first time in the Marble City - and he didn't disappoint on stage at Second Captains

Sam Matthews

Reporter:

Sam Matthews

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sam.matthews@kilkennypeople.ie

LEINSTER RUGBY

James Lowe is a European Cup and Pro-14 champion, having played previously with Tasman, Chiefs, and the Maori All Blacks

Leinster Rugby star James Lowe appeared on stage in front of a Kilkenny audience last night as the surprise guest on Second Captains, as part of the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival.

The Kiwi looked comfortable with microphone in hand in front of a full house at the Ormonde Hotel, offering his take on the journey from southern hemisphere to north, adjusting to new defensive responsibilities, and his highlight-filled career to date at Leinster. Dressed in a white shirt and jeans, he confirmed it was his first time in the Marble City, comparing the trip through one local town to a similar location in his native country.

When asked about the recent move, Lowe said he wished team mate Joey Carbery well at new club Munster, and said the two would remain friends. He spoke candidly about his struggles as a youngster in battling a rheumathoid arthritis condition which threatened his game time, and forgoing the opportunity of an All Blacks jersey to move abroad with the support of his family.

The fast-stepping winger wouldn't be drawn on his prospects of appearing in green in the future (he will be Irish-qualified under the three-year residency rule), but revealed his father's birthday happened to fall on the day of the next Ireland v All Blacks Test match - and the question of whether or not to renew the passport had arisen...

The European Cup and Pro-14 champion also enjoyed a back-and-forth with Irish comic David O' Doherty, who surprised him with some insider knowledge of Lowe's co-ownership of a New Zealand toy store with a childhood pal. The former Maori All Black has gained a reputation for his comedic musings, and enthusiasm both on and off the field.

For more on the festival - all tickets on sale now from the Cat Laughs.