Bowe would have been in pole position to claim possibly the final remaining wing spot in Ireland's World Cup squad had Carney not switched codes in March and been fast-tracked into the Test team.
The duo will line-up on opposite wings against Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday knowing a strong performance could secure inclusion in the 30-man party for France, which is named on Sunday morning.
But Bowe accepts even if Carney was not providing the competition in what may be a straight shoot out for a World Cup place, a handful of other wingers would be jostling for the same position.
He said: "If Brian Carney hadn't come in to rugby union, then there would still be other guys around to challenge like Luke Fitzgerald and Rob Kearney.
"They're hot on our heels. Then there's the more established guys like Andrew Trimble, Denis Hickie and Shane Horgan.
"Geordan Murphy is there as well and has always been around the squad. The competition is very high in the outside positions. It's a keenly contested spot.
"The best way Brian or I will come out of the match against Scotland is by playing as a team.
"When it comes down to the game I don't think the fact we might be competing for the same position in the World Cup squad will be a big problem.
"Both of us will obviously be going out and trying to have as good a game as we can but, at the same time, there's not really very much we can do.
"As long as you perform well individually and collectively as a team, hopefully the rest will come together."
Bowe won seven of his nine caps in the 2005-06 season but his run in the side was brought to a close following an error-strewn display against France in the Six Nations.
The 23-year-old has remained in the senior squad since but has found first team opportunities limited with Hickie, Horgan, Murphy and Trimble all ahead in the pecking order.