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Bowe out of Ireland driving seat and playing catch up on the

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first_imgREGARDLESS OF THE fact that he has missed Ireland’s last seven fixtures, Tommy Bowe must still be regarded as one of the finest wings in the country.When fit and in form, the 30-year-old provides a kick-fielding, clinical-finishing, intelligently-roaming option out wide. However, last season’s groin issues mean the 54-times capped Emyvale man sees himself as having slipped down Ireland’s pecking order.“I’m now not in the driving seat unfortunately; I’m playing catch up. With the likes of Andrew [Trimble] playing fantastically well, Fergus McFadden, Dave Kearney, Simon Zebo, these guys have got the jersey at the minute,” says Bowe in Belfast. I have to be selfish in the way that I have to do whatever I need to do to be at my best. I think that just brings great excitement for me, that I have a goal to achieve and I’m looking forward to doing it and playing the best rugby that I’ve played in a couple of years.” With that target in mind, Bowe and the Ireland staff decided that he would be better served by missing June’s tour of Argentina, instead having his troublesome groin operated on back at home.“I was struggling throughout the season and that was really the reason I didn’t go on tour,” explains Bowe. “So I’ve had that operation and so far I’m feeling better than I have in probably over six months.“I’ve finally got a bit of a smile on my face with this injury at the moment, because it was a bit of a tough time since probably November last year. I’m almost 100% and looking forward to going to a new season hopefully injury-free.” Bowe [centre] models the new Ulster kit with teammates Nick Williams, Darren Cave, Louis Ludik and Franco van der Merwe. Source: Matt Mackey/Press EyeThe first steps towards returning to the kind of form that Bowe knows he is capable of will be with Ulster, where calm has settled after the summer drama that saw David Humphreys and Mark Anscombe depart.center_img The latter’s departure was greeted with little sentiment by the players, but Bowe believes Humphreys is “an outstanding signing” for Gloucester and is thankful to the former out-half for kick-starting Ulster “in the right direction” off the pitch.Ireland’s Les Kiss is in his second week as interim Director of Rugby at the province, working closely with Jonny Bell and Neil Doak – who Bowe says has “a great rugby brain.” The 6 ft 3 ins wing is in little doubt that Kiss can push things forward for Ulster.Les comes with a reputation that means players in Ulster look up to him and get excited. As soon as he came in, you just got an air of enthusiasm. [He has such] attention to detail, he doesn’t allow small mistakes, he likes to keep us on our toes.“From an Ulster point of view, those small mistakes were what cost us last season and the last couple of seasons. If we can cut those out, I think we’ll take on any team in Europe.“Les will know most of the players here inside and out. He has been up and down to Ulster camp quite a bit over the last few years. For an interim coach to come in of that sort, I think that you couldn’t find a better person and I think certainly Ulster would, I’m sure, be delighted to keep him on long-term if they could.”Simon Zebo: ‘If you’ve nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all’O’Connell urges patience as Munster’s all-Irish coaches look for balancelast_img read more

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