Bowe ‘delighted’ by return to Ulster

Ireland wing Tommy Bowe has ended speculation about his future by confirming his return to Ulster on a three-year deal announced yesterday by the IRFU and starting next season.

Bowe, the two-try hero of last Sunday’s Six Nations draw with France, will leave Ospreys after being given an early release by the Welsh region from his contract, rejoining his native Ulster on a deal that will keep the 28-year-old at Ravenhill until 2015.

“I am delighted to confirm that I will be returning to Ulster at the start of next season,” Bowe announced via his Twitter account.

There had been speculation linking Bowe with a move to Munster but after 77 appearances and 36 tries for Ospreys to date, Bowe will return to the province for whom he made his professional, try-scoring debut in 2003-04.

He said: (Ulster director of rugby) David Humphreys was a mentor of mine in my early playing days and we have remained friends during my time at the Ospreys. His vision for Ulster is impressive, with Ulster-born players at the core of this vision. I hope to repay the IRFU and Ulster’s faith in me by contributing to a team that is already delivering.”

In his first spell at Ravenhill, Bowe scored 34 tries in 91 appearances for Ulster between 2004 and 2008.

Meanwhile, Ireland U20 coach Mike Ruddock is adamant his side won’t underestimate Scotland in Friday night’s RBS Six Nations at Dubarry Park, Athlone (RTÉ Two, 7.05pm). The hosts have won their three games in the tournament but Ruddock is wary of the Scots.

He insisted: “I have looked at their tapes and realise our defence is going to have to work very hard.

“We have prepared well and are ready to front up to what we believe is a very talented Scotland team. We have reinstated a few of the lads that were involved in the win against France as we felt they deserved to come back into the equation.”

Luke McGrath takes his place in the starting XV at scrum-half.

A reworked pack sees James Rael join Peter Reilly and Kyle McCall in the front row. Iain Henderson moves from five to four and will partner Danny Qualter in the second row. Conor Gilsenan moves across the back row with Aaron Conneely coming in to join Jack Conan.

Tadhg Bernie, Jordan Coughlan and Kieran Marmion are named in the replacements along with Callum O’Connell, who comes into the 22 for the first time.

IRELAND U20: S Layden (Buccaneers, Connacht) C Finn (Buccaneers, Connacht) C Farrell (Dungannon, Ulster) JJ Hanrahan (UL Bohemians, Munster) S Coughlan Murray (UCD, Leinster) P Jackson (Dungannon, Ulster)(Capt) L McGrath (UCD, Leinster) K McCall (QUB, Ulster) J Rael (Garryowen, Munster) P Reilly (Lansdowne, Leinster) I Henderson (Queens, Ulster) D Qualter (Buccaneers, Connacht) C Gilsenan (UCD, Leinster) A Conneely (Corinthians, Connacht) J Conan (Old Belvedere, Leinster).

Replacements: C O’Connell (Galwegians, Connacht), D Merrey (Clontarf, Leinster), J Cawley (Old Belvedere, Leinster), T Beirne (Lansdowne, Leinster), J Coghlan (UCD, Leinster), K Marmion (Corinthians, Connacht), C Marsh (Dublin University, Leinster), S Olding (Belfast Harlequins, Ulster).

Wales v Italy in the RBS 6 Nations in Cardiff on Saturday.

L Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues); A Cuthbert (Cardiff), J Davies (Scarlets), J Roberts (Cardiff), G North (Scarlets); R Priestland (Scarlets), M Phillips (Bayonne); G Jenkins (Cardiff, capt), M Rees (Scarlets), A Jones (Ospreys), A-W Jones (Ospreys), I Evans (Ospreys), D Lydiate (Dragons), J Tipuric (Ospreys), T Faletau (Dragons).

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CourtsRugbyPlace: RavenhillPlace: UlsterPlace: Dubarry Park,Place: CardiffPerson: BowePerson: Tommy BowePerson: David HumphreysPerson: Mike RuddockPerson: RuddockPerson: Luke McGrathPerson: James RaelPerson: Peter ReillyPerson: Kyle McCallPerson: Iain HendersonPerson: Danny QualterPerson: Conor GilsenanPerson: Aaron ConneelyPerson: Jack ConanPerson: Tadhg BerniePerson: Jordan CoughlanPerson: Kieran MarmionPerson: Callum O’ConnellPerson: S LaydenPerson: C FinnPerson: C FarrellPerson: JJ HanrahanPerson: S Coughlan MurrayPerson: P JacksonPerson: L McGrathPerson: K McCallPerson: J RaelPerson: P ReillyPerson: I HendersonPerson: D QualterPerson: C GilsenanPerson: A ConneelyPerson: J ConanPerson: C O’ConnellPerson: D MerreyPerson: J CawleyPerson: T BeirnePerson: J CoghlanPerson: K MarmionPerson: C MarshPerson: S OldingPerson: L HalfpennyPerson: A CuthbertPerson: J DaviesPerson: J RobertsPerson: G NorthPerson: R PriestlandPerson: M PhillipsPerson: G JenkinsPerson: M ReesPerson: A JonesPerson: A-W JonesPerson: I EvansPerson: D LydiatePerson: J TipuricPerson: T FaletauEvent: Six NationsOrganisation: UlsterOrganisation: IRFUOrganisation: FranceOrganisation: OspreysOrganisation: TwitterOrganisation: MunsterOrganisation: Ireland U20Organisation: ScotlandOrganisation: BuccaneersOrganisation: ConnachtOrganisation: DungannonOrganisation: UL BohemiansOrganisation: UCDOrganisation: LeinsterOrganisation: QUBOrganisation: GarryowenOrganisation: LansdowneOrganisation: QueensOrganisation: CorinthiansOrganisation: Old BelvedereOrganisation: GalwegiansOrganisation: ClontarfOrganisation: Dublin UniversityOrganisation: Belfast HarlequinsOrganisation: WalesOrganisation: ItalyOrganisation: Cardiff BluesOrganisation: CardiffOrganisation: ScarletsOrganisation: BayonneOrganisation: Dragons
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