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Departing Lowe reaches Chiefs half-century

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/06/2017

Odds-defying Chiefs winger James Lowe will bring up his 50th game for the Waikato-based Super Rugby franchise on Friday after battling rheumatoid arthritis for the entirety of his playing career.

The 24-year-old has battled the autoimmune condition from day dot, but has managed to go through his side's 2017 campaign relatively injury-free and firing.

He'll join Irish club Leinster on a lucrative three-year deal at the end of the season - but not before he pulls on the black, red and yellow shirt against the Hurricanes in Wellington for his Chiefs half-century.

"It's not something I've thought about to be fair but as the games added up and the season progressed, it's just good to finally get there," Lowe said.

"Last time we were at the Cake Tin we got beaten up (a 25-9 loss in last year's Super Rugby semi-final) so hopefully we can right some wrongs.

"They're a star-studded team throughout that back line."

Lowe scored three tries last weekend in the Chiefs' 46-31 win over the Waratahs in Hamilton, and is in the form of his career - but refused to dwell on what might've been, having never played for the All Blacks.

However the Tasman flyer is likely to add to his three New Zealand Maori caps when the side is named to play the British and Irish Lions on Thursday.

He then hopes to back up for the Chiefs in their Lions clash three days later.

"You can't look back, hindsight is a scary thing," Lowe said.

"If the chance comes, I will be extremely privileged."

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