'You probably only use 10% of the research': Tommy Bowe adjusting to pre-season as a presenter

'You probably only use 10% of the research': Tommy Bowe adjusting to pre-season as a presenter
Tommy Bowe. Photo: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Joe Schmidt has made a lot of changes to his Ireland set up since the 2015 World Cup quarter-final defeat to Argentina.

But those alterations pale into comparison with that of Tommy Bowe who has gone from being a winger in the Millennium Stadium defeat, to being a TV anchor on eir sport's World Cup coverage this time around.

The retired former Ireland, Ulster and Lions star knows all about doing his homework ahead of a tournament having also featured in 2011, but this time around he's had to get his head stuck in some very different books.

“I've been in pre-season for a World Cup – as a player – and you're worried about avoiding injuries or falling out of form, so thankfully that hasn't been the case this time around,” he said.

“It's completely different, I don't know what it's going to be like – I'm pretty much doing 38 games, so I'm trying to do as much prep as I can.

“I've looked at the last eight to 10 weeks as my pre-season. I'm trying to do as much prep as I can and read up about players, about teams and about pronunciation of names.

“I've met quite a lot of people who have done World Cups from a TV perspective, and they've all said that you probably only use 10% of the research you do, but for that day when something happens and you need it, it's about having it all there.

“I'm just trying to be as well prepared as I can. I'm buzzing, I can't wait for it to actually start.”

Bowe isn't going into the gig cold, having been a part of the station's Pro14 coverage last season as well as his role on a travel show before that.

“I haven't done a live show since the end of the Pro14, so it's going to be a real jump back into it again, but it's a World Cup and Ireland are going into it as the number one team in the world,” Bowe said.

“To think four years ago I came off injured in that match against Argentina to be now doing this, I'm delighted and mad excited.

“Over the last number of years I've been thinking about what I wanted to do and television was something that always interested me.

“It has taken time. I've done a journalism diploma and I used three of my four weeks holidays from Ulster to do the holiday programme, just to get used to writing up a paragraph about some cathedral at the top of a hill in the south of France and talk to the camera about it.

“I wanted to be the person who was asking the questions, rather than answering them. I was never an out-half who was too bothered about the intricacies and the analytical side of things. I was the guy who was standing out on the wing asking for the ball to score. I was always the one asking the questions: why are we doing that and why are we doing this? And that has sort of translated into this role again, which I really enjoy.”

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