James Lowe and Finlay Bealham, both hailing from different corners of the world, have forged deep roots in Ireland. Lowe, originally from New Zealand, moved to Dublin in 2017, where he now lives with his wife, Arnica, and their newborn son, Nico. Bealham, an Australian native, has called Ireland home since 2010 and is eagerly awaiting the arrival of his first child with his wife, Sarah, due in February.
For these young families, Ireland is more than just a temporary stop; it’s where they’ve put down their roots. Bealham is committed to staying, and Lowe shares a similar sentiment: “I don’t see us leaving any time soon, that’s for sure. In terms of rugby, I was fortunate enough to land on my feet at Leinster.”
While Lowe plays for Leinster and has settled into Dublin life, Bealham has made Galway his home after initially joining Ulster. The sense of family and belonging he found in Ireland was immediate, and representing the country means a lot to him. Bealham’s connection through his Irish heritage, particularly his grandmother from Enniskillen, is a cherished aspect of his journey.
Lowe, though still proud of his Kiwi roots, was drawn to Ireland by the opportunity to play for the national team. After missing out on the All Blacks selection, the green jersey became a significant attraction for him. Over the years, his love for Ireland has grown, and he couldn’t be happier with where life has taken him.
Both Lowe and Bealham play crucial roles in the Irish rugby team. Lowe is the first-choice left wing, known for his powerful ball-carrying, creative plays, and solid defense. Bealham had a standout performance in the Six Nations, contributing significantly to the Grand Slam campaign.
Lowe acknowledges that his passionate and outspoken nature can create a “love/hate relationship” with some people, especially outside Dublin, but he emphasizes that his passion stems from a good place. Bealham, on the other hand, openly expresses his appreciation for Lowe.
As they sit together in Tours, just days before Ireland’s opening World Cup game, their rugby journeys and life paths reflect the unpredictability of both the sport and life itself.
Lowe recalls his early World Cup memories of the All Blacks losing to France in 2007, a moment etched in the hearts of Kiwis. Bealham remembers watching Wallabies games with his dad in 2003 and 2007. Now, they’re about to play in a World Cup themselves.
Back home, Lowe’s wife is managing their young son, while Bealham’s wife prepares for the next chapter of their lives. The World Cup is a significant event, but these two rugby stars are well aware that they have the better end of the deal.
“He’s teething, and my first night at home, every hour on the hour, he’d scream for two minutes and then go back to sleep,” says Lowe, expressing his deep appreciation for his wife’s efforts back home.”