Lowe made a try-scoring debut against Wales in November after the New Zealander qualified for Ireland on a three-year residency. The former Chiefs winger struggled more in the loss to England the following week then injured his groin in training and hasn’t played since.
He was selected on Friday (Saturday NZ time) ahead of Jordan Larmour, who was in the reserves after missing the autumn tests with a dislocated shoulder.
“James is a great player who is right for this game,” Ireland coach Andy Farrell said. “He has been in great form in training.”