By Grainne McGuinness and Shaun Cronin
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has backed Tommy Bowe to excel when he starts for Ireland against Romania on Sunday.
The Ulster winger wasn’t included in the match-day squad for Ireland’s opening World Cup match against Canada last weekend and Schmidt described him as eager to play.
“He (Tommy) is really enthusiastic, he just wants to get his hands on the ball,” Schmidt said today
“He wants to get involved.”
Bowe’s form was poor during the warm-up series, particularly against England, but Schmidt had no doubts about the player’s ability to step up for the side during the tournament.
“We know the quality of player that Tommy is,” he said.
“I don’t think Tommy has suddenly lost any confidence about what he can deliver either, and what he has delivered for us this time last year in the Autumn internationals and through the Six Nations.”
The Kiwi believes that the competition for starting berths in the backs is the perfect motivation for the players.
“We have a pretty high expectations of what Tommy and Keith (Earls) and Simon (Zebo) will offer,” he said.
“On the back of what the players did against Canada there’s a really good contest in that area.”