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Cutting it tight: Bowe eager for involvement before Lions Tests

The Ulster wing is grateful for the confidence Warren Gatland has shown in him.

Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

ULSTER, IRELAND AND Lions winger Tommy Bowe looked a relieved man as he donned the red shirt of the Lions again yesterday.

Bowe played all three Tests in South Africa but after recovering from a knee injury sustained in December, he admits cutting his chances of a second tour a bit fine.

“It’s been fairly tough times.” The Monaghan man told SkySports news. “I’ve had a pretty injury-ridden season and to come back and only play two and a half games before selection was leaving it it a bit tight.

“But for the coaches to have the confidence to pick me… I’ve plenty of games under my belt now and hopefully I’ll get a few more before the Test series and hopefully I’ll find a bit of form and match fitness.”

Looking back on the losing series against the Springboks in 2009, Bowe called the second Test defeat ‘heartbreaking’. However, the Ulster star spoke in determined fashion about coming away with a win this time around. The first task for that, he says, is an effective team bond.

“I think that the squad that’s picked here – the excitement you can hear just on day one – there’s a really strong bunch of players here.

“I’ve bumped into a lot of the Welsh guys i used to play with, a lot of the guys that were on the last tour and obviously some new people as well.

“It’s been a great day, the nerves of he last couple of weeks before selection, having a couple of games before coming here this week – finally coming here to put on the gear is a very special feeling and I’m looking forward to getting on the plane and heading off.”

He added: “I’m very excited, delighted to be here. It’s going to be a tough couple of weeks ahead, but I think we can do the business.”

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Sean Farrell

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