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Bowe has shot at retribution

MOTIVATION won't be an issue for Tommy Bowe when he lines up in Ireland's World Cup opener against the US Eagles on September 11.

The flying wing suffered one of the toughest days of his sporting life when he was axed from the Irish squad ahead of the World Cup four years ago and the man responsible will be on the opposing side this time round.

The former Monaghan minor footballer was given his first international cap by Eddie O'Sullivan in the autumn of 2004 against the Eagles, but their relationship had its ups and downs.


Following a disappointing defeat by France in the 2006 Six Nations, Bowe was axed from the squad prompting suggestions that he had been made a scapegoat by O'Sullivan.

O'Sullivan then decided against bringing the Monaghan native to France a year later and next month’s clash gives the 27-year-old a chance for some swift retribution over the current US national team boss.

“I obviously missed out on the last World Cup which is a huge disappointment of mine,” mused Bowe.

“I've moved on from then, I'm looking forward to that game and hopefully we'll come away with a win,” he said at Ireland's Carton House training camp.

“It's definitely one of my career disappointments to miss out on the last World Cup, it was a hard time.

“The World Cup is a huge part of any professional player's career. I want to be a part of the World Cup but I also want to be a successful part in the World Cup.”

Declan Kidney's World Cup preparations crank up a gear this weekend with Ireland travelling to Edinburgh to take on the Scots on Saturday and Bowe can't wait to get some game time under his belt.

“Training is not my favourite part of rugby. I like to play the matches and that's what I want to do, so I have to do everything I can to get back in the jersey,” he added.

“It'll be a very difficult couple of weeks but I'm looking forward to getting back into the games.

“I'm feeling good at the minute and it's just a case of trying to get a little game time up.

“I'm sure Declan will be anxious to try out new combinations and getting the players firing for the first game in New Zealand.”

Unlike in 2007, Ireland will play four warm-up games against Scotland, France home and away and England at the Aviva and Bowe sees this as the main difference in preparations between Kidney and O'Sullivan.

“There will be no one complaining about not being battle-hardened with the four matches we've got coming up. There's a lot of players in camp and it will be difficult to get them all enough game time that they feel 100 per cent. It will obviously be one of the stand-out differences from the last World Cup,” he said.

Bowe was also bullish about Ireland's chances next month and believes Ireland can beat Australia and Italy to secure top spot in Pool C. “I would feel very confident about winning the four games in the pool,” he said.

“I think we're capable of taking them (the Southern Hemisphere teams) if we get our tactics right.

“We're playing the type of rugby that can take them on, we can grind out victories and we can go into all-out attack if it's needed.”

The majority of Bowe's Irish team-mates ended last season with silverware following Heineken Cup and Magners League success for Leinster and Munster respectively but he hasn't been teased after a below-par season with the Ospreys

“I think I had an extra week's holidays so I think I was in the best form of everybody when we met up,” he added.

“I haven't seen them walking around with their medals anyway, as soon as that happens there could be trouble. They haven't been bragging about it.”