Speedy Lowe hoping to make mark in 10s

By Campbell Burnes

Jonah Lowe in action for the New Zealand Under 20 side at the U20 World Championships in England last year. Photo / Getty Images.
Jonah Lowe in action for the New Zealand Under 20 side at the U20 World Championships in England last year. Photo / Getty Images.

The Hurricanes have a plethora of X-factor players as they prepare to enjoy themselves at tomorrow's Brisbane Tens, and Jonah Lowe is one of them.

The 20-year-old centre/wing scored a double in last weekend's practice match against the Blues and is making the right moves after two months with the franchise as injury cover.

Out of King's College and with a New Zealand Under 20 campaign behind him, plus the award as Hawke's Bay's best back in 2016, Lowe is an interesting outside back option as the Canes await the playing return of Julian Savea from his off-season.

"Jonah has gone really well. He is a late inclusion in our squad. He had a good game against the Blues last weekend and he, like a number of other people, will be keen to knock down the door to get them further up the pecking order," says Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd.

Loose forward Hugh Renton, another Hawke's Bay player, who has had a terrible time of it with injuries in recent years, is also looking to use the 10s to show his skills on a bigger stage.

"Hugh had a pretty enthusiastic game against the Blues. He's one of those who it is important that he shows his level of skills and athleticism and the 10s is a good way for him to express that," Boyd says.

"It's uncharted waters and it will be interesting to see the different styles of the teams... but we are not going to slit our wrists over the results," quips Boyd, adding that the event will act as a good selection tool for the Hurricanes.

The 10s themselves will feature five-man scrums and four man lineouts, so set-piece will be more telling than in sevens.

Of the original Hurricanes' Tens selections, Reg Goodes and Peter Umaga-Jensen are both injured, so will not travel. But, for a side that admits they are not taking the event that seriously, they have serious talent which could thrive in the extra space afforded by 10s.

That list includes Vaea Fifita, Vince Aso, Matt Proctor, Ngani Laumape, Wes Goosen, Cory Jane, Jordie Barrett and Nehe Milner-Skudder. Plus, of course, the speedy Lowe.

The Hurricanes will, in tomorrow's group play, face the Western Force, Toulon and the Highlanders.

- NZ Herald

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