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The defensive shortcomings of James Lowe at international level have not come as a surprise to his Leinster backs coach Felipe Contepomi. 

The 28-year old's performances have come under renewed scrutiny following his display against Scotland on Sunday.

Lowe's missed tackle on Huw Jones allowed Scotland turn up the heat on Ireland in the closing stages at Murrayfield. Before that, his failure to deal with a bouncing ball allowed Finn Russell in to score Scotland's first try of the match.

But Contepomi has backed the New Zealand-born wide man to eventually succeed on the international stage, while conceding it may take time.

"Definitely Lowe is not renowned for his defence, or big tackles," the Argentine said, "He's more renowned for what he can do with ball-in-hand going forward.

"But, having said that, it's hard to talk now about his defence because it's more about his technique but also about the system.

"In fairness... the Irish system and the Leinster system are different.

"I'm not in the Irish camp so I don't know exactly what they ask him, but I can see that it's different the way that they set up certain positions and the way they set up the winger[s] than we do.

"It's very harsh for me to give an opinion on something that I'm not totally informed or know about, but definitely I think he'll get better.

"And hopefully he gets better and sorts out whatever the defensive problems that he had for the next game that is a massive game against England."

Contepomi says the provincial structure allows for some input regarding their players during international camps.

The ex-out half was asked how open the lines of communication are between the Irish and Leinster camps, replying, "We definitely talk to them.

"More-so when we have back and forth in terms of communication to see how we can help the Irish internationals with us for a bit of time."

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Felipe Contepomi Ireland James Lowe Leinster Six Nations

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