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Lowe not registered in Leinster's Champions Cup squad, as Munster add Nash for Tigers

Clubs are only permitted to include ‘two non-European’ players in their panel.

Lowe opened his Leinster account in style last weekend.
Lowe opened his Leinster account in style last weekend.
Image: Elena Barbini/INPHO

LEINSTER HAVE DECIDED they are sufficiently equipped to face Exeter Chiefs on Sunday without James Lowe after the province opted not to register the Kiwi in their Champions Cup squad.

Clubs have until Tuesday of match week to register an additional player, at the expense of another, to their 41-man squad but Champions Cup regulations state ‘each club is permitted a maximum of two ‘non-European players’ in each match squad.’

With Australian Scott Fardy and Kiwi Jamison Gibson-Park part of Leinster’s original panel named before the start of the pool stages, the province have decided to stick with the same playing squad for the round three clash at Sandy Park this weekend.

This is despite Lowe’s dazzling debut performance last Saturday when he scored a brace against Benetton Rugby, with Leo Cullen deciding that he requires both Fardy and Gibson-Park and additionally has sufficient cover in the back three to do without the 25-year-old project player.

Each club may select three additional players during the course of the pool
stage, one of whom must be a front row player, and the playing squad for any given game cannot exceed 41 players.

In that case, Leinster will have the option to register Lowe ahead of the return fixture against the Chiefs at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday week, although both Fardy and Gibson-Park — the back-up scrum-half to Luke McGrath, unless Cullen opts for Nick McCarthy — are likely to be required again.

Isa Nacewa, the Leinster captain, who is exempt from the non-European player policy as he’s a Fijian international, Dave Kearney, Rory O’Loughlin, Rob Kearney, Fergus McFadden and Jordan Larmour are in contention in the back three.

Meanwhile, Munster have added Ireland U20s back Calvin Nash to their squad for Saturday’s Pool 4 clash with Leicester Tigers at Thomond Park. The 20-year-old replaces Jaco Taute, who is a long-term absentee with a knee injury.

South African Chris Cloete, who has made an impressive start to his Munster career, had already been registered by the southern province as part of their original squad.

Ulster have also availed of the chance to add cover for their trip to Harlequins with the addition of academy second-row Matt Dalton, who takes the place of Marcell Coetzee.

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Ryan Bailey

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