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A sort of homecoming: Bowe re-signs with Ulster

The prolific Ireland winger has signed a three-year deal to play with the northern province where he made his name.

Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

TOMMY BOWE HAS today signed and sealed a return to his native province, Ulster.

The winger, who has scored 24 tries for Ireland, left Ravenhill in 2008.

The move to the Neath Swansea Ospreys in Wales has generally been viewed as a success as Bowe’s scoring rate at international level was markedly increased.

Bowe will return to Belfast, where he played for Queens University, this summer on a central contract with the IRFU which runs until 2015.

“Obviously, I have mixed emotions.” Bowe said in a statement released this afternoon, “I’m sad to be leaving a club and a region that I have been proud to call my home for the last three years and that has improved me immeasurably both as a rugby player and as a person.

“That said, I am also delighted to be returning to Ulster, the Province I grew up wanting to play for and where my family live. 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.

Today’s news is confirmation of a move which has been muted for some time and Humphreys, the director of rugby at Ulster, appeared to express relief at the deal being finalised.

“We are delighted to be in a position to finally confirm that Tommy will be playing his rugby with Ulster next season and I’d like to thank the IRFU for their assistance in bringing him home.”

Flair

“Skillful, physical, and a proven finisher with a knack of being in the right place at the right time, there’s no doubt that Tommy has consistently been one of European rugby’s best players over the past few seasons and he’ll bring a lot of experience and flair to our backline.”

The move will mean Bowe can once again come under the umbrella of the IRFU and it’s player-management program which ensures that elite internationals are not fatigued by playing a high number of games in the Rabodirect Pro12 league.

The Monaghan native has already played 91 times for his province and so is likely to reach his century as a 28-year-old later this year.

The winger is currently the top try-scorer in this seasons Six Nations having crossed the line five times, two of which came during Ireland’s 17-17 draw with France on Sunday.

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Sean Farrell

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