Friday 28 April 2017

'Tommy hasn't been playing that well' - Horgan stands firm after Schmidt takes exception to Bowe criticism

Tommy Bowe and (inset) Schmidt and Horgan
Tommy Bowe and (inset) Schmidt and Horgan
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Shane Horgan has insisted that his comments on Tommy Bowe's selection were 'not too far off the mark' after Ireland boss Joe Schmidt challenged his view ahead of the clash with Wales.

Horgan said it was a 'nostalgia call' to include Bowe on the bench to face Scotland in the Six Nations opener, something that Schmidt disagreed with in a pre-match press conference this week.

"That looked like a nostalgia call," Horgan told Second Captains after the Scotland loss. "He hasn't been playing well, I was very surprised that he was in the 23. Tommy just didn't look as if he was up to the pace of the game at all. He had a negative contribution."

Schmidt hit back strongly when asked about Horgan's remarks, after the Ireland boss opted to bring Bowe back into the squad for tonight's game in Cardiff.

"Shane hasn't spent any time in our environment, he's never seen Tommy train," said Schmidt.

"I think it's a typically external opinion that is purely opinion-based. We try to base our decision on how a player is performing. I've coached Shane and there's probably been times when people have questioned my selecting him."

Now, Horgan has responded again, maintaining that while he is outside the camp, his view on Bowe was still close to the truth.

"Tommy hasn't been playing that well. My comments were based around the Scotland game and they were not too far off the mark," Horgan told RTÉ Sport.

"Joe has been seeing him up close and personal every day over the last couple of weeks and he's right, my view is an external one.

"He's decided to pick him for this game and we'll see if he uses him how he goes."

Bowe has good memories of the Millennium Stadium, scoring a key try in 2009 as Ireland won the Grand Slam.

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