Bowe primed for Ireland recall
TOMMY BOWE is poised for a recall to the Ireland squad ahead of next weekend's trip to Scotland after coming through 80 minutes for the Ospreys with no complications.
Bowe missed Ireland's Six Nations clashes with Italy and France while he recovered from a knee injury, but lined out on the right wing for the Welsh region, who won 34-18 at Treviso.
He failed to get on the scoresheet, but looked sharp, winning the turnover that led to one of Nikki Walker's three tries on the far wing. Walker may face Bowe at Murrayfield.
After the weekend's Magners League action involving several members of the squad, the Ireland players are due to meet up at their Killiney base tomorrow ahead of Wednesday's team announcement.
Meanwhile, Italy coach Nick Mallett has apologised to referee Romain Poite after claiming the official had sent a letter of apology to the Italian Rugby Federation (FIR).
Before Italy's Six Nations opener against Ireland, Mallett claimed the FIR had received a letter from Poite apologising for his officiating of the fixture the previous year, when Azzurri prop Martin Castrogiovanni had been repeatedly penalised in the scrum.
"I have apologised to Romain and I am happy to put the record straight after I was reported as saying that Romain had written to us last year," said Mallett in an official statement. "I did not intend to put undue pressure on him prior to our match last week, but accept that this may have been a consequence."
Elsewhere, Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin is believed to be on the verge of agreeing a new deal with the province for at least a year. Contract negotiations are understood to be at a critical juncture, with a decision on his future expected in the next couple of weeks.
McLaughlin has been in charge since Matt Williams' sudden departure in May 2009 and has steered the province into the Heineken Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 1999.
The weekend's narrow win over the Scarlets keeps Ulster in contention for a play-off spot in the Magners League.
Munster scrum-half Duncan Williams rolled his ankle during Cork Constitution's All-Ireland League victory over Dolphin on Saturday, with an update expected once the swelling has subsided.