Revitalised Tommy Bowe happy to be back in big time with Ulster

Tommy Bowe is looking forward to Ulster’s Champions Cup game in Clermont on Sunday with a very particular reason to seek the win which would keep Ulster in contention for the quarter-finals.

“After Saturday’s win in Belfast, it was the happiest I’ve been in a long time, the European games are the ones you really miss. After two years with injuries there has been a lot of hard work put in, and to be in a dressing room with that sort of atmosphere certainly made it seem all worthwhile,” said the Ireland and two-time Lions winger.

Bowe’s return to Ulster in 2012 from a four-year spell with the Ospreys has been littered with injuries, though he fought back to fitness and form to reclaim his Ireland place for the 2015 World Cup, only to pick up a serious knee injury.

“I’ve missed a lot of games, and there were times when you’re in the gym, looking at four walls and the knee isn’t great and you do wonder is this all worth it? But games like last weekend’s most definitely prove it’s worth all that rehab.

“When you’re injured you’re not great to live with, and quite honestly my wife Lucy and my parents were as happy as I was on Saturday with the way the team performed and that I played my part,”, said Bowe.

Back in the starting line-up for less than a month the 32-year-old delighted to be operating at full pace and to have had such a significant impact on the 39-32 home win over the French, plucking a cross-kick from Ruan Pienaar out of the air before cleverly off-loading to Iain Henderson for a crucial try.

“It would be nice to get the ball in my hands and get a few tries now that’ll come, maybe Hendi’ll repay the compliment in France on Sunday,” he jokes.

Bowe is confident he can force his way back into Ireland’s plans, but for the moment he is focused only on Ulster and the prolonging the European challenge.

“We’ve got to replicate the way we played last week, do our jobs in defence and in attack, play with real pace, and be wary of the threats of Fofana, Strettle and the other great players. But, to be back, winning games with Ulster, and to be fully fit, sharp and happy is already a victory of sorts,” said Bowe.

Champions Cup Pool 5 - Clermont v Ulster

Sunday: Stade Marcel Michelin, 3.05pm

Referee: Matteo Liperini (Ita)

TV: Sky Sports 4

Betting: Ulster 7/2, Clermont 1/6, Draw 20/1


Lifestyle

REVIEW: This superb adaptation of A Christmas Carol puts a contemporary twist on Dickens' classic tale, writes Alan O'RiordanReview: A Christmas Carol, Gate Theatre, Dublin

Move over quinoa.Everything you need to know about fonio, the ancient grain we’ll all be eating in 2020

The former heptathlete and all-round super woman chats to Lauren Taylor about how to stay fit in pregnancy and body confidence after a baby.Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill: ‘There’s still a lot of stigma attached to exercising pregnant’

Behaving aggressively is a stage many toddlers go through. The author of The Wonder Weeks explains how parents should deal with kids who kick & bite.Ask an expert: How can I stop my toddler kicking and biting?

More From The Irish Examiner