Anyone who has watched Super Rugby this season will have sat up and taken notice of the Chiefs’ backline, and in particular a young winger named James Lowe.
Lowe, 22, has scored five tries so far this season and there are some calls in New Zealand, albeit small but growing with every match, that he has an outside chance of being included in the Kiwi World Cup squad.
Not bad for someone who is in their second season of Super Rugby, but more importantly, was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at just 14 years old. Like most arthritis’s, juvenile rheumatoid swells the joint area and limits the afflicted’s range of motion.
Lowe takes prescribed drugs and a weekly injection to keep his arthritis at bay and he has been an official ambassador for Arthritis New Zealand for four years. In November he received its Young Achiever Award.
The winger toured Japan with New Zealand Maori in November, and his battle with illness can be compared to Wallaby hooker Nathan Charles, who is thought to be the only professional sportsman in the world with cystic fibrosis.
Learn more about Lowe’s fight with arthritis in the video. If you’d like to see more interesting profiles on rugby stars from around the world, see our Player Features section
credit: skysport nz