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Dublin: 11°C Monday 23 November 2020

Lions chance is out of my hands now, admits Tommy Bowe

Bowe was on the mark again last night — but will that be enough to convince Warren Gatland?

Waiting game: Bowe scored again for Ulster last night.
Waiting game: Bowe scored again for Ulster last night.
Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

THE WAITING IS the hardest part.

Tommy Bowe’s chances of bagging a seat on the plane to Australia looked to be dead and buried not long ago but in the three weeks since making his return from injury, the Ulster winger has forced himself back in to the Lions equation.

Now he faces a nerve-wracking week before coach Warren Gatland names his touring panel for the summer series on 30 April.

The wait is made even harder by the fact that Bowe and his provincial team-mates have done all they can to impress. They put forward their final arguments in last night’s 34-18 win against Connacht but a handful of  contenders still have a chance to catch Gatland’s eye in the European semis next weekend.

For the second week running Bowe bagged a try, another box ticked as he came through his first full game since December. Will that be enough to convince Gatland that he’s ready to travel?

YouTube Credit: RaboDirectPRO12

“Personally I’m very happy with how I’ve come back from the injury, to be out for four months and then get myself back playing rugby again. To get a couple of tries over the last couple of weeks has been nice too. I’m happy and who knows what could happen?

I don’t know if you can ever be happy that you’ve done enough unfortunately. I’m happy that I’m back fit. It was a difficult injury to come back from but I’ve hit the ground running and it’s out of my hands now.

Mark Anscombe and Ulster backs coach Jonny Bell have both endorsed Bowe for a second Lions tour but the man himself is not expecting a phone call ahead of the announcement one way or the other.

“I haven’t heard a word unfortunately. Who knows?

“We find out when everyone else does so it’s pretty nerve-wracking stuff.”

– Additional reporting by Aaron Turner of Connacht Clan.

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Niall Kelly

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