/ Six Nations 2016

Bowe heading back to Ulster

Updated: Tuesday, 06 Mar 2012 16:39

Tommy Bowe scored 34 tries in 91 appearances during his first spell at Ulster
Tommy Bowe scored 34 tries in 91 appearances during his first spell at Ulster

The Irish Rugby Football Union has revealed that Ireland winger Tommy Bowe has agreed terms to return to Ulster at the end of the season.

The Ospreys star has been released early from his contract with the Welsh side, and his new contract with the IRFU will see him play with Ulster for the next three seasons.

The Monaghan man began his professional career at Ravenhill, scoring on his Ulster debut in the clash against Connacht during the 2003-04 season.

He continued to play for Ulster for the following three seasons, making 91 appearances and scoring 34 tries. During that time, he was part of the Ulster team that won the 2004-05 Celtic League.

Bowe made another tryscoring debut when he won his first cap for Ireland against the USA at Lansdowne Road in November 2004.

The 28-year-old, who moved to Ospreys at the end of the 2007-08, went on to flourish on the international stage. As well as featuring in the Ireland team that won the 2009 Six Nations, Bowe was selected to represent the British and Irish Lions on the tour of South Africa.

The 2010 season was a particularly good year for the Monaghan man, being named as the RBS Player of the Championship for the Six Nations as well as the IRUPA Player of the Year 2010 and the Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Player of the Year.

Bowe admitted to mixed emotions after agreeing his Ravenhill return, saying: “I'm sad to be leaving a club and a region that I have been proud to call my home for the last three years and that has improved me immeasurably both as a rugby player and as a person.

“I am indebted to the staff, coaches, management, teammates and fans of the Ospreys, for welcoming me so warmly and making my time here so special.

"That said, I am also delighted to be returning to Ulster, the province I grew up wanting to play for and where my family live.

“David Humphreys was a mentor of mine in my early playing days and we have remained friends during my time at the Ospreys. His vision for Ulster is impressive, with Ulster born players at the core of this vision.

“I hope to repay the IRFU and Ulster's faith in me by contributing to a team that is already delivering. The vibe at Ulster is undeniably positive. I've been training and playing with some of the Ulster boys during the Six Nations and there is a real energy and sense of anticipation as to what lies ahead for this Ulster team.”