Garry Ringrose says his Leinster teammate James Lowe is quickly becoming a valuable member of Andy Farrell’s squad ahead of his anticipated international debut next month. Despite not being eligible to play for Ireland until next month’s Autumn Nations Cup, Lowe has been kept on as a training member of Farrell’s Ireland squad as they prepare for their rescheduled Six Nations fixtures against Italy and France.

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There is huge excitement about the prospect of seeing Lowe line out for Ireland, as the winger has become a key player for Leinster since making the switch from the Chiefs in 2017.

The 28-year-old will be eligible to play for Ireland in November and Farrell is expected to hand Lowe his Test debut during the Autumn Nations Cup.

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He’s not the only new face getting used to life in an Ireland squad. While Jordan Larmour will miss the Autumn Test window through injury, the uncapped duo of Shane Daly (Munster) and Hugo Keenan (Leinster) will be pushing for selection in the backline alongside Andrew Conway and Jacob Stockdale, while Leinster scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park is also in line to make his Test debut, making the cut in Farrell’s 35-man squad ahead of Ulster’s John Cooney and Leinster’s Luke McGrath.

Lowe will have to wait a little longer to pull on a green jersey, but Ringrose says he is already adding to the group despite not being in contention for the upcoming Six Nations games.

“There’s massive competition amongst the back three there. He’s adding to that obviously with what he’s done previously for Leinster and equally, like the other two guys (Daly and Keenan), he’s adapted incredibly quick,” Ringrose said.

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“He’s shared his point of view and tried to help others around him as well as settle in and do his own job right.

“It’s been no problem to him, he’s a great guy to have around the place and he’s getting on with everyone. I’m excited to see what more he can offer because it’s obviously massive competition amongst the whole backline.

“Everyone enjoys each other’s company and gets on, and there is a great connection amongst the group. But then obviously there is that competitiveness and pressure amongst us all in training, which brings the best out of us all, and hopeful come Saturday (against Italy) whoever goes out there, it brings the best out of them.”

Ireland resume their suspended Six Nations campaign this weekend when they host Italy at the Aviva Stadium, before travelling to play France the following Saturday.

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While Farrell’s time with his squad has been limited since taking over the reins from Joe Schmidt last year, Ringrose says the new head coach is trying to encourage a gameplan that the players enjoy.

“It’s trying to play a brand of rugby that we all love,” he added.

“And that might look different at different times, in the sense that it’s not necessarily being the Harlem Globetrotters, but playing to space when that’s the right thing to do. But then also if you’re coming up against a defence that’s set, is ‘where else is the space through kicking and stuff?’

“It’s not necessarily one style of play that’s being encouraged or implemented, but it’s (more about) what’s the right thing at the right time to take advantage of whatever opportunity is there, if that makes sense.

“Training has been tough, but it’s up to us to try and recognise what is the right thing to do at the right times, and then act upon that.

“We obviously put each other under pressure, and don’t get it right all the time, so that’s why there’s a lot of learning coming out of training that will hopefully make us be at our best and ready to go come Saturday.”

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