33 year old Ulster and Irish talisman Tommy Bowe took to twitter yesterday to announce his impending retirement this Summer.
In true Monaghan style he announced it in verse, like his fellow countryman Patrick Kavanagh.
“I’ve spent most of my career in Belfast,
At first George said I wasn’t very fast,
I eventually found my gears,
Had some incredible years,
But it’s time to tell you – this is my last!”
Bowe, a natural born athlete ran for the Glaslough Harriers, played gaelic for his local club in Emyvale from u10 level and represented Monaghan GAA at u16’s and Minor level aswell as playing rugby from primary school age. His illustrious career began when he played for Queens University rugby team. He earned a selection to the Ireland u20 team before moving to Belfast Harlequins. He got his first cap at U21 level and was crowned “Young Player of the Year” in 2003 by the IRUPA.
He got his first call up for Ulster at the end of 2003 -2004 and began to make a name for himself. In 2005, he won the Guinness Ulster Rugby Personality of the Year Award. Tommy also got his call up for the Irish National Squad for the Six Nations in early 2006. He left Ulster for the Ospreys in 2008 and made over 70 appearances for them up until 2012.
His Irish International team record includes 69 caps from 2004 – 2017, scoring 150 points and winning the IRUPA “Player of the Year” twice in 2008 and 2010 respectively.
He will forever remembered for his try against Wales in 2009 which helped secure Ireland’s first Six Nations Grand Slam since 1948.
Bowe returned to his native Ulster in 2012 and of late has struggled with injury but has made his comeback for this, his very last season. To date he has had in excess 150 appearances for the provincial team. It’s very fitting to see him play his last days in his home country.