Ulster only choice for Bowe

Test Lion Tommy Bowe insists Ulster were the only club he wanted to play for after deciding to leave the Ospreys. [more]

Ulster only choice for Bowe

Test Lion Tommy Bowe insists Ulster were the only club he wanted to play for after deciding to leave the Ospreys.

Bowe, who won three Lions caps in South Africa in 2009, has rejoined his home-town club four years after heading to Wales.

The Ireland wing was in huge demand after announcing that he wouldn’t be staying at the Liberty Stadium this term, with English, French, Irish and Japanese outfits all after his signature.

But Bowe decided to return to the side he started his career with and he admits it wasn’t a difficult call to make.

"Ulster were always my number one priority and there was only one club I was going to come back to," said Bowe, who claims there was no sense of bitterness among the hierarchy at Ravenhill when he joined the Ospreys in 2008.

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"Once I had it in my head that I was coming back to Ireland, I was never going anywhere else.

"Maybe it wasn't the done thing to do at the time but I just wanted to get away and sample something different. Ulster were brilliant to me. I think they realised it was nothing personal and there was no ill-feeling towards anybody at Ulster.

"Ulster said the door was always open for me to come back and always made me feel very welcome when I came back to watch. My parents were still season ticket holders here, supporting the lads.

"The four years really flew by, and it was something I really enjoyed, but I'm delighted to be back."

Bowe believes his time spent in Swansea sees him come home as a better player than when he left, thanks in no small part to the presence of another Lions hero, Shane Williams.

Williams showed Bowe another dimension to the role of a modern-day wing and the 28-year-old learnt as much as he could from the former IRB World Player of the Year.

"When I left Ulster, I was the Magners League top scorer of all time. But maybe I was just letting the ball come to me and what I learned at Ospreys was how to go in search of the ball a lot more," added Bowe.

"They encouraged me to take up a role whereby I was not just standing out on the wing and just waving. I tried to look at Shane Williams and work out how he could get his hands on the ball 20 or 30 times in a game.

"But I got to see he was able to get in at scrum-half and at out-half/first receiver and from that point of view it got me more involved. It really pushed me to have a greater impact on the game."

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