Ireland winger Tommy Bowe says that Ulster have their GUINNESS PRO12 destiny in their own hands. The province are in second place in the table with just four matches remaining in the regular season.
Tommy Bowe is enjoying his first week back training with the Ulster squad after a remarkable few weeks that saw Ireland crowned RBS 6 Nations champions for the second successive year.
“It’s great to be back,” admitted the Monaghan man. “It has been a super time down with the Irish squad, but I’m glad to be back with the Ulster lads. Everyone is in great form. It was good to get the bonus point (against Cardiff Blues) last week and everyone is excited about the next couple of months with some massive games ahead.”
Bowe, who remains the PRO12’s record try scorer with 59 tries, was delighted to play his part in Ireland’s latest Championship success under Joe Schmidt, having missed the 2013 and 2014 tournaments through injury.
“I missed the Six Nations last year and the year before that and I had watched the success that Joe Schmidt and the coaching team have had over the past 12 months.
“To come back into the team and to be part of a side that has won the first back-to-back Championships in over 60 years is just incredible. It was a nerve-wracking experience (on the final day against Scotland), but how it finished up just made it that bit more special.”
The 31-year-old is now focused on securing a PRO12 play-off berth with the Ulstermen, and preferably home advantage for the semi-finals. Should Neil Doak’s charges achieve that, they have the huge carrot this year of the final being played at their own Kingspan Stadium on Saturday, May 30.
Speaking ahead of the province’s trip to Connacht next weekend and their upcoming clashes with Leinster (home), Munster (home) and current leaders Glasgow Warriors (away), Bowe knows they will have to be at their consistent best to finish in the top two or top four.
“At Ulster we have some enormous matches coming up. We are in a great place in the league with all the top teams to play. Obviously the guys who have been playing in recent weeks have gone really well and we know that there is going to be competition for places.
“The guys coming back from Irish camp know that they will have to push hard if they are going to get into the team and reintegrate themselves back in.
“Interprovincial matches are huge games – they don’t get much bigger or more exciting. It will be a massive month ahead. This is moving into the business end of the season. We have had an up-and-down season in different parts.
“We know that the final of the league will be at Kingspan Stadium. It is an enormous incentive for us to aim for. We want to be playing in a final at home and I think that we have that all in our own hands,” he added.