Hospital dash for Lucy and injured Tommy as baby Emma arrives early
He has made many a sprint for the try line in his long and storied career, but few dashes would have been as important to Tommy Bowe as that on Sunday morning.
Tommy and wife Lucy welcomed baby Emma who came across the line two and a half weeks early, surprising her parents.
A former Miss Wales, Lucy gave birth to their 6lb 15oz daughter at 11am on Sunday at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital.
Despite fracturing his ankle during an all-too brief appearance against Wales in the Six Nations, Tommy (33) was able to drive his wife (28) the five-minute journey to the hospital. "Thankfully it was my left leg and I've an automatic car," he laughed as he described the morning dash to the hospital.
The former Ireland and Lions winger said: "Lucy only went into labour at eight o'clock in the morning and Emma arrived at 11 o'clock so it was very fast, and really caught us by surprise.
"We weren't expecting it to come so quickly but it was incredible.
"Everybody talks about their first baby going overdue and we weren't really expecting things to come on so fast.
"The adrenaline just kicks in and it just worked out so well that Emma was born so quickly.
"We are just delighted, little baby Emma, she is just gorgeous," he added.
"I just have to hand it to Lucy, she was incredible. You know, what women go through really puts everything into perspective. Lucy really was incredible, I couldn't be more proud of her," said the new father who hails from Emyvale in Co Monaghan.
The couple married in Carmarthenshire in Wales in June 2015, not far from where Tommy played much of his rugby with the Ospreys, and Lucy (nee Whitehouse) is a nurse by profession.
Praising the midwives and staff at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Tommy said "they couldn't have been more helpful, they were really brilliant".
He revealed they had chosen the name in advance as they knew that Lucy was expecting a little girl.
"Emma was the name we pretty much settled on the whole time, it was always the front runner."
Happy not to be on crutches any more, it means the rugby star is absolutely fit for nappy changing duties.
"Because I broke my leg, I have to keep doing recovery and rehab so I'm in for rehab this morning and it will be nice to go in and see all the guys." As for whether he will be encouraging his firstborn to take up ladies rugby, the new dad said philosophically: "Well, I'd say we'll leave that to her."
While the couple prefer to keep their relationship out of the spotlight, he has never been shy about praising his other half, whom he first met in 2011 when he was playing for Ospreys.