Tommy Bowe

Last updated

Tommy Bowe
Tommy Bowe.jpg
Bowe playing for Ospreys
Birth nameThomas John Bowe
Date of birth (1984-02-22) 22 February 1984 (age 37)
Place of birth Emyvale, Monaghan, Ireland
Height1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
Weight98 kg (15 st 6 lb; 216 lb) [1]
School Royal School, Armagh
University University of Ulster
University of London
Notable relative(s)Hannah Bowe (sister)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Wing, Centre
Youth career
Monaghan RFC
Amateur team(s)

Queen's University
Belfast Harlequins
Senior career
Correct as of 28 April 2018
National team(s)
2009, 2013
Ireland U21
Ireland A
British & Irish Lions


Correct as of 10 March 2017

Thomas John Bowe (born 22 February 1984) is a former Irish rugby union player from County Monaghan, Ireland. He played on the wing for Ulster, Ireland and the British & Irish Lions. In March 2012, after four years with Ospreys in Swansea, Wales, Bowe returned to Ulster for the 2012/13 season.



Early career

A former pupil of The Royal School, Armagh, Bowe was a schoolboy provincial full-back, only converting to wing whilst playing for Ireland U-21s. Bowe played Gaelic football from U10 level with Emyvale, his local GAA club and he also ran for the Glaslough Harriers and represented his local parish Donagh in the All-Ireland Community Games and went to Mosney with the Monaghan Relay team.[ citation needed ]

He represented Monaghan at U16 and Minor level. As well as playing Gaelic football, he also played rugby with Monaghan RFC at underage levels as well as representing his primary school team. He attended the University of Ulster, Jordanstown and played for the Queens University Belfast rugby team, earning a selection to the Ireland U20 Team before transferring to Belfast Harlequins. He subsequently was capped at U21 level and was named as the Irish Rugby Union Players Association (IRUPA) 'Young Player of the Year' in 2003. [2]

Club/provincial career

James Hook, Gavin Henson and Tommy Bowe playing for Ospreys Osprey Bowe.jpg
James Hook, Gavin Henson and Tommy Bowe playing for Ospreys

Bowe received a call-up to the Ulster squad at the end of the 2003–04 season, scoring on his debut against Connacht and soon made his name as an Ulster regular. He won the Guinness Ulster Rugby Personality of the Year Award at the Ulster Rugby Awards Dinner in May 2005. [3] In 2006 Bowe won his 1st Celtic League title for Ulster

On 25 January 2008 he confirmed that he would leave Ulster at the end of the 2008 Celtic League season, to join the Ospreys on a two-year deal. In his first season with the Welsh club, he scored a club-record four European Cup tries in a match against Treviso, [4] as well as becoming the leading Magners League try-scorer, having scored the most tries in the league's history. In 2008, he won both the Ulster and Ireland Player of the Year awards. [5] In December 2009 it was announced that Bowe had signed a 3-year extension with the Ospreys. [6]

He returned to Ulster at the start of the 2012/13 season on a 3-year deal. He scored 2 tries on his return for Ulster against Cardiff Blues and was instrumental in the province's league season, helping them to the Pro12 Final.[ citation needed ]

International career

Bowe made his senior international debut against the USA during the 2004 Autumn Internationals becoming the first player from County Monaghan to win an Ireland cap since the 1920s, marking his introduction to test rugby with a second half try. Bowe won further caps during Ireland's tour to Japan and their Autumn Internationals in 2005.[ citation needed ]

With that experience and an impressive run of form for Ulster in the Celtic League, he made the 22-man panel for Ireland's 2006 Six Nations opener against Italy, and went on to score a try in that game. After Ireland's poor first half against France in the following Championship match, Bowe was axed from the squad – prompting allegations of him being made a scapegoat by Ireland boss Eddie O'Sullivan. [7]

An injury-plagued latter part of 2006 precipitated a downturn in form, though a rejuvenated Bowe came back with 5 tries in 6 matches to earn his place in Ireland's 2007 Six Nations squad. He failed to make the Irish squad for the disappointing 2007 Rugby World Cup. Bowe earned himself a place in Ireland's original 2008 Six Nations squad after a very good season with Ulster.[ citation needed ]

He was overlooked for the Ireland match day squad to play Italy in the tournament's opening game, however, despite his form. He was again excluded from the squad the following week when Ireland were narrowly defeated by France in Paris, however on 19 February 2008 Bowe was named in the starting team at for the visit of Scotland to Croke Park, a match in which he scored two tries. He then played in the losses to Wales and England.[ citation needed ] On 4 February Bowe came on for Keith Earls as a replacement in the 2017 Six Nations Championship against Scotland national rugby union team.

With his good form for the Ospreys continuing in 2008 Bowe retained his right-wing position for Ireland during the Autumn internationals, scoring the team's only try against Argentina. Bowe was then selected on the wing for the 2009 Six Nations opener against France in Dublin. Bowe impressed as Ireland claimed their first win over France in six years with 30–21 triumph. Their next game was against Italy. Despite a performance that was below par, Bowe scored a try as Ireland romped to a 38–9 win.[ citation needed ]

After wins against England and Scotland, Ireland took on Wales with a grand slam at stake. With Ireland trailing 6–0 at halftime they came out firing as Brian O'Driscoll scored to put them 7–6 up. Then, from a Ronan O'Gara chip, Bowe gathered and outpaced Ospreys teammate, Shane Williams to score under the posts for a try. Wales came back from 6–14 to go up 15–14 with six minutes remaining, but O'Gara slotted a last gasp drop goal to give Ireland the lead again. Wales had one more chance to snatch the game from Ireland with Jones having a penalty on halfway with the final kick of the ball. But Jones missed by a matter of inches and Ireland claimed a dramatic win and their first grand slam in 61 years. [8]

In February 2010 against England in the 2010 Six Nations Championship, he scored two tries including the clinching try with five minutes remaining in a 20–16 win at Twickenham. [9] In March 2010, Bowe was voted 2010 Six Nations Player of the Championship, gaining over 50% of the vote. [10]

Bowe continued to represent Ireland throughout 2010. He was selected in Ireland's squad for the 2011 Six Nations Championship, and scored the opening try of Ireland's demolition of a Grand-Slam chasing England on 19 March. He went to the 2011 Rugby World Cup, his first such tournament, and scored a try against the USA in Ireland's opening Pool C game. He was selected in the squad for the 2012 Six Nations Championship, during which he rediscovered his try-scoring ability. scoring 5 tries in Ireland's first three games, including braces against Italy and France.[ citation needed ]

British & Irish Lions

On 21 April 2009, Bowe was named as a member of the British & Irish Lions for the 2009 tour to South Africa. [11] He started in the first match on the tour, versus a Royal XV and, in this game, became the first try scorer of the 2009 tour. He then scored two tries against the Golden Lions which contributed to his selection for the test side. He wasn't included for the next two games before coming back for the match against Western Province where he scored his fourth try of the tour and set up another for Ugo Monye.

His form on the Tour was outstanding, winning him praise from the sporting media. [12] On 18 June 2009, Ian McGeechan named Bowe in his test side to face South Africa in Durban on 20 June where The Lions lost 26–21 . Bowe, although holding his own in defence, wasn't given any opportunities to run. He was again selected on the wing for the second test. The Lions lost 28–25 due to a last minute penalty by Morné Steyn to clinch the series for the Springboks. Bowe in this game had more opportunities to run and was dangerous in attack. Due to injuries to Brian O'Driscoll and Jamie Roberts, Bowe was selected at outside centre in a partnership with Riki Flutey. He came second behind Jamie Roberts for the Player of the Series award.[ citation needed ]

In April 2013 he was selected as a member of the 2013 British & Irish Lions squad to tour Australia. [13] While playing against the Queensland Reds, Bowe broke a bone in his hand, which threatened to end his Lions tour. [14] He managed to recover from the injury in time to be included the starting fifteen in the last two tests against Australia, taking the place from Alex Cuthbert who had replaced him whilst he was injured, but was unable to score any points in the test series.

International tries

Tommy Bowe's International Tries [15]
TryOpposing TeamCity/CountryVenueCompetitionYear
[1]Flag of the United States.svg  United States Dublin, Republic of Ireland Lansdowne Road Test Match2004
[2]Flag of Japan.svg  Japan Osaka, Japan Nagai Stadium Test Match2005
[3]Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Dublin, Republic of Ireland Lansdowne Road Six Nations 2006
[4–5]Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Dublin, Republic of Ireland Croke Park Six Nations 2008
[6–7]Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada Limerick, Republic of Ireland Thomond Park Test Match2008
[8]Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Dublin, Republic of Ireland Croke Park Test Match2008
[9]Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Rome, Italy Stadio Flaminio Six Nations 2009
[10]Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Cardiff, Wales Millennium Stadium Six Nations 2009
[11]Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Dublin, Republic of Ireland Croke Park Test Match2009
[12–13]Flag of England.svg  England London, England Twickenham Six Nations 2010
[14]Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Dublin, Republic of Ireland Croke Park Six Nations 2010
[15]Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand New Plymouth, New Zealand Yarrow Stadium Test Match2010
[16]Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa Dublin, Republic of Ireland Aviva Stadium Test Match2010
[17]Flag of England.svg  England Dublin. Republic of Ireland Aviva Stadium Six Nations 2011
[18–19]Flag of the United States.svg  United States New Plymouth. New Zealand Yarrow Stadium World Cup 2011
[20]Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Dublin, Republic of Ireland Aviva Stadium Six Nations 2012
[21–22]Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Dublin, Republic of Ireland Aviva Stadium Six Nations 2012
[23–24]Flag of France.svg  France Saint Denis, France Stade de France Six Nations 2012
[25–26]Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Dublin, Republic of Ireland Aviva Stadium Test Match2012
[27]Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa Dublin, Republic of Ireland Aviva Stadium Test Match 2014
[28]Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Dublin, Republic of Ireland Aviva Stadium Test Match 2014
[29–30]Flag of Romania.svg  Romania London, England Wembley Stadium World Cup 2015






British & Irish Lions

Non-rugby ventures

Bowe was guest chef in episode two of series seven of The Restaurant in 2010. [20] Bowe appeared on RTÉ's The Late Late Show on 21 May 2010 where he was quizzed on his version of the song "The Black Velvet Band" which he sang during Ireland's Grand Slam celebrations. [21] Bowe was the focus of an RTÉ documentary Tommy Bowe's Bodycheck, which examined what it takes to be a top professional rugby player. [22]

In 2014, Bowe added a clothing line XV kings to his earlier launched footwear brand Lloyd & Pryce. [23] He lent his name to the Tommy Bowe Challenge which was completed in both 2011 and 2012 to raise money for the Glaslough Harriers. [24]

In 2017, Bowe dipped his toe into Television presenting becoming a co-presenter on BBC and RTE holiday program, Getaways. [25] Then in 2018, Bowe was named as the presenter of Eir Sport's coverage of the Pro14 which started in August 2018. [26]

Personal life

His father, Paul, won a Leinster Schools' Cup medal with Newbridge College on the 1970 team, captained by Mick Quinn and went on to win a cap for Leinster Schools. Ann, his mother, is a physiotherapist in County Monaghan who runs her own practice. Bowe's sister, Hannah, is an Ireland hockey international, and his younger brother, David, is a rugby union footballer. The Bowe siblings' grandfather was awarded the Military Cross for war service with the British Army at the D-Day Normandy Landings in World War II. [27] [28]

Bowe married his fiancée, former Miss Wales Lucy Whitehouse, on 14 June 2015 at the Corran Resort and Spa in Carmarthenshire, Wales. [29] [30] [31] [32]

Related Research Articles

Brian ODriscoll Irish rugby player

Brian Gerard O'Driscoll is an Irish former professional rugby union player. He played at outside centre for the Irish provincial team Leinster and for Ireland. He captained Ireland from 2003 until 2012, and captained the British & Irish Lions for their 2005 tour of New Zealand. He is regarded by critics as one of the greatest rugby players of all time.

Ulster Rugby

Ulster Rugby is one of the four professional provincial rugby teams from the island of Ireland. They compete in the Pro14 and the European Rugby Champions Cup.

Ronan OGara Rugby player

Ronan John Ross O'Gara is an Irish former rugby union player and current coach. O'Gara played as a fly-half and is Ireland's second most-capped player and highest ever points scorer. He is currently head coach of La Rochelle in the French Top 14.

Donncha OCallaghan Rugby player

Donncha O'Callaghan is an Irish retired rugby union player. He began his career with his home province Munster, spending 17 seasons with the province and winning 5 major trophies, before finishing his career with Worcester Warriors in the English Premiership. Internationally, O'Callaghan represented Ireland and was part of the team that won the Six Nations grand slam in 2009. He also toured with the British & Irish Lions in 2005 and 2009, winning 4 caps, and was invited the play for the Barbarians twice. Throughout his career, O'Callaghan played primarily as a lock, though he occasionally provided cover at blindside flanker.

Paul OConnell Rugby player

Paul Jeremiah O'Connell is an Irish former rugby union player. When he stopped playing, he was Ireland's third most-capped player (108) and the eighteenth most-capped international player in rugby union history. During his career, O'Connell captained Munster, Ireland and the British & Irish Lions. He is now the forwards coach for the Ireland national men's team.

Eric Miller is a former Irish rugby union and Gaelic football player. As a rugby player Miller played for, among others Old Wesley, Leicester Tigers, Ulster, Leinster, the Barbarians, Ireland and the British and Irish Lions. After retiring as a rugby player, Miller switched football codes and went on to play Gaelic football for the Dublin county team.

David Peter Wallace is a retired Irish rugby union player, who played for Munster, Ireland and the British & Irish Lions. He normally played as an openside flanker, but could also play blindside flanker and number 8.

Andrew Trimble is a former Irish rugby union player who played for Ulster and represented Ireland at international level.

John Hayes (rugby union) Irish rugby union player

John Hayes is a retired Irish rugby union player who played in the Pro12 and Heineken Cup for Munster. He didn't start playing rugby until he was 18; prior to this he played with the local Cappamore GAA club. It was his size that enabled him to overcome his late start to the sport. He continues to "follow GAA in Limerick very much and especially hurling".

Stephen Ferris is a retired Irish rugby union player who played for Ulster and represented Ireland internationally. Ferris played club rugby with Dungannon. He is from Maghaberry and attended Friends' School Lisburn. He played for Ulster and Ireland in all three backrow positions. Ferris retired for rugby in June 2014 after a long-standing ankle injury ended his career.

Alan Quinlan is a retired Irish rugby union player. He played for Munster and was registered to All-Ireland League side Shannon. He retired from rugby in May 2011.

Jamie Heaslip Rugby player (born 1983)

James Peter Richard Heaslip is an Irish rugby union former player who played for Leinster and Ireland. He played as a number 8. Heaslip earned 95 caps for Ireland during his international career from 2006 to 2017, making him one of the most capped players in Irish national team history.

Rob Kearney Rugby player

Robert Kearney is an Irish rugby union player for Australian side Western Force. He previously played for Leinster, Ireland and the British & Irish Lions. As a youth he also played rugby union for Clongowes Wood College and Gaelic football for Louth in the All-Ireland Minor Football Championship.

Cian Healy Rugby player

Cian Healy is an Irish rugby union rugby player. He plays for Leinster and for the Ireland national team. He is registered to Clontarf who play in All-Ireland League. He is also a DJ, calling himself DJ Church, performing at both Oxegen 2010 and Oxegen 2011 in the Electric Ballroom with his band partner DJ Gordo.

Jonathan Sexton Irish rugby union player

Jonathan Sexton is an Irish rugby union player who plays as a fly-half for Leinster Rugby and Ireland, and also captains both teams. He also previously represented the British & Irish Lions in both 2013 and 2017 and has scored over 900 points in his international career, making him one of the highest points-scorers in rugby union history.

James Coughlan is a retired Irish rugby union player and current coach. Coughlan played primarily as a Number 8 and represented Irish province Munster, Dolphin, Ireland Wolfhounds, Ireland 7s and French club Pau during his career.

Nevin Spence was a Northern Ireland-born Irish rugby union player for Ulster in the Pro12. He played as a Centre, but could also play Wing. He was educated firstly at Dromore High School, where he was introduced to rugby, and then at Wallace High School. He played his club rugby with Ballynahinch. He was also a capable footballer, playing for the Northern Ireland U-16's.

Conor Murray Irish rugby union player

Conor Murray is an Irish rugby union player who plays for Munster in the Pro14 and European Rugby Champions Cup. Internationally, Murray has represented Ireland and the British and Irish Lions. He plays as a scrum-half and represents Garryowen in the All-Ireland League.

Simon Zebo Rugby player

Simon Zebo is an Irish rugby union player, currently playing for French side Racing 92 in the Top 14 and European Rugby Champions Cup. He usually plays wing, but has also played fullback for Ireland, Munster and Racing 92.

Craig Gilroy is an Irish rugby union player from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He plays wing for Ulster and for Ireland. Gilroy made headlines with his try-scoring exploits in the victory over Munster in the April 2012 Heineken Cup quarter final. He also took part in the semi final against Edinburgh with which Ulster went through to the Heineken Cup final, winning 22–19. He scored a hat trick of tries against Italy in the Stadio Olympico in a convincing 63-10 win for Ireland in the 2017 Six Nations.


  1. Archived 2 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  2. "From Emyvale to International Rugby". Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  3. Archived 20 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  4. "Ospreys 68–8 Benetton Treviso". BBC Sport . 6 December 2008. Retrieved 19 June 2009.
  5. Archived 25 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  6. "Tommy Bowe ignored Irish pressure to sign Ospreys deal". BBC News. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  7. "Bowe has a point to prove". RTÉ Sport . 22 February 2008. Retrieved 19 June 2009.
  8. Roberts, Gareth (22 March 2009). "2009 Six Nations". BBC Sport . Retrieved 23 March 2009.
  9. Standley, James (27 February 2010). "England 16–20 Ireland". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  10. "Tommy Bowe named Player of the Six Nations". RTÉ Sport. 25 March 2010. Archived from the original on 20 January 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  11. "British & Irish Lions tour squad announced". British & Irish Lions. 21 April 2009. Archived from the original on 24 April 2009. Retrieved 21 April 2009.
  12. Evans, Ieuan (13 June 2009). "Tommy Bowe and Ugo Monye take Test initiative". Daily Telegraph . London, UK. Retrieved 19 June 2009.
  13. Paul Rees (30 April 2013). "Jonny Wilkinson turned down Lions chance, says Warren Gatland". Guardian. London, UK. Retrieved 30 April 2013.
  14. "Lions down fired up Reds". ESPN. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  15. "Rugby Union – ESPN Scrum – Statsguru – Player analysis – Tommy Bowe – Test matches". Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  16. "D'Arcy and Bowe win awards". BBC. 20 May 2010. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
  17. "Bowe wins IRUPA Players' Player of the Year". RTÉ . 13 May 2010. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
  18. "PLAYER OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP". Six Nations Rugby. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  19. "Bowe named Rugby Writers Player of Year". RTÉ Sport. 8 November 2010. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  20. "RTÉ Television – The Restaurant". 29 July 2015. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  21. "Prospering outside the comfort zone". The Irish Times. 28 May 2010. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  22. "Tommy Bowe's Bodycheck". 21 February 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  23. "His teammates slag him, but Tommy Bowe's clothing range is a winner with the rugby heartthrobs!". 20 February 2015.
  24. Archived 15 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  26. "Bowe - 'I'll be more nervous than if I was playing'". Irish Independent. 31 August 2018. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  27. "Kevin Myers: What the English have, as they showed last Saturday, is guts. But it is often witless guts". Irish Independent . 3 March 2010.
  28. "Tommy Bowe: Ready for takeoff". Irish Independent . 10 September 2011.
  29. "Tommy Bowe got married (and posed for photos with people's mams)". Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  30. "Rugby hero Tommy Bowe weds Lucy Whitehouse in romantic Welsh ceremony". 15 June 2015.
  31. "A look inside rugby heartthrob Tommy Bowe's lavish Welsh wedding". 15 June 2015.
  32. "Tommy Bowe shares honeymoon pics from exotic private island". 27 June 2015.