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Home truths in Kidney’s crunch talks can galvanise Ireland – Bowe

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Ireland coach Declan Kidney. Photo: Getty Images

Ireland coach Declan Kidney. Photo: Getty Images

Ireland coach Declan Kidney. Photo: Getty Images

IRELAND have taken the first step towards moving on from their Hamilton hell after holding a full and frank squad meeting to clear the air ahead of the new season.

As he enters into the final year of his contract, manager Declan Kidney will be hoping that the August 29 get-together at the Aviva Stadium can replicate the galvanising effect of a similar meeting in 2008 in Enfield, which played a huge part in the Grand Slam the next spring.

June's 60-0 defeat to New Zealand will loom large when Ireland finally return to action in November, with many fearing that record loss has done serious damage to the team's confidence.

Tommy Bowe missed that match after undergoing surgery for a Kidney injury that ended his season, but as he nears a return to action after re-joining Ulster, the ex-Ospreys winger is hoping the discussions can bring about the necessary change to revitalise the international team's fortunes.

"We met for a day. Last season won't be parked until we get back playing again," Bowe said.

"The hurt will always be there. You are only as good as your last game and, unfortunately, that is a game that will last in the boys' memories for a long time.

"The end of the season and the New Zealand tour were addressed in the meeting, of course, but it is now about working on what we need to do that will translate the success of the provincial teams into the senior side.

"I wasn't at Enfield that day (in 2008) so I can't compare the meetings, but there were some realities that came out, big time. Things were addressed, and whether that will have the impact that Enfield had, time will tell."

Bowe remains confident that this team can bounce back from last season's disappointment when they return to action against South Africa on November 10.

"We have a good squad now, but there are not that many in that squad that were there in 2009 for the Grand Slam," Bowe said. "South Africa is the first game in -- if we get off to a good start then things will go from there and will run into the Six Nations"

Irish Independent