Belfast Telegraph

Tommy Bowe and fiancee Lucy Whitehouse face split loyalties at Wales v Ireland Six Nations clash

By Amanda Ferguson

He is a hero of Ireland and she is the pride of Wales.

Ulster rugby star Tommy Bowe can usually rely on the unequivocal backing of his beautiful fiancee, Lucy Whitehouse, a former Miss Wales from Cardiff.

But at Saturday's Six Nations Championship clash, when Wales take on Ireland at the Millennium Stadium in her birth city, loyalties might just be divided.

The Monaghan man, who was born in Craigavon, Co Armagh, is likely to find his wife-to-be will be cheering for her home side.

The rugby star proposed to Lucy, who works as a nurse in Belfast, in April last year after three years together.

In recent times the 31-year-old former beauty queen has put her modelling career on the back-burner to focus on full-time nursing.

The couple, based in Belfast for most of the year for Tommy's Ulster Rugby commitments, are remaining tight-lipped about plans to walk up the aisle but confirmed recently they have got some of their wedding plans sorted including the date and a venue.

It is understood the loved-up pair will tie the knot at some stage later this year but it seems the groom is leaving the finer details of the day to his other half.

"I'm trying to stay as far out of it as I can," he said.

"I imagine I'll end up turning up in some burgundy suit and she'll probably kill me!"

Bowe lived in Wales while playing for Ospreys and met the love of his life while at a nightclub in Cardiff in 2011 through mutual friends.

The former Royal School Armagh pupil once likened their relationship to that of sitcom couple Gavin and Stacey, because Lucy is originally from the female star's home town of Barry.

The Ireland wing, understood to be the best paid player in the Ulster squad, is a reluctant heartthrob, who once topped a poll to find the Sexiest Man in Ireland,

He is also popular with his team-mates for his sporting prowess and easy manner.

When his Ulster colleagues Ruan Pienaar and Robbie Diack, both originally from South Africa, launched their Ballybosch range of wine late last year, he was at the Direct Wines event in Belfast to give the men his support.

"It's always good to have interests outside of rugby and plan for the future," he said at the time.

Factfile

Bowe has won just over two-thirds of his 59 Test matches for Ireland. Against Wales his record is poor. Two wins and four defeats, including the loss he found hardest of all to deal with - a World Cup quarter-final thrashing in Wellington, New Zealand, four years ago.

Six Nations 2015: Wales v Ireland, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, this Saturday. Kick-off: 2.30pm.

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