'That looked like a nostalgia call' - Shane Horgan questions Joe Schmidt's selection of Tommy Bowe
Shane Horgan has criticised Joe Schmidt's selection of Tommy Bowe in the Ireland squad for the defeat to Scotland, calling it a 'nostalgia call'.
After struggling for form and playing time this season, many were surprised when the Ulster wing was announced as the bench cover for the outside backs for the Six Nations opener.
Bowe was introduced for the lively try-scorer Keith Earls on Saturday, but struggled to make an impact after replacing one of Ireland's main attacking threats.
Speaking on the Second Captains podcast, Shane Horgan questioned why the Ireland coach opted to include Bowe ahead of some other options.
"That looked like a nostalgia call, having him in the team," Horgan said.
"He hasn't been playing well, I was very surprised that he was in the 23.
"He then was brought on for one of Ireland's best backs, if not their best back at the weekend. I thought Earls consistently looked sharp. He had zip in the first half when actually no players had it. He was constantly a threat. Unless he had a niggle, I don't know why he took him off.
"And then Tommy just didn't look as if he was up to the pace of the game at all. He had a negative contribution."
Bowe has scored 30 tries for Ireland in a glittering international career that has seen him win a Grand Slam and another Six Nations championship. He has also been capped five times in test matches for the Lions.