Ulster rugby star Tommy Bowe opens up about 'brilliant' wedding to Lucy Whitehouse
Ulster and Ireland rugby star Tommy Bowe has opened up for the first time about married life.
The player (31) wed nurse Lucy Whitehouse in June of this year in a top secret ceremony in her native Wales and he’s currently basking in newlywed bliss at the Belfast home he shares with his new wife.
After their honeymoon in the Maldives, it was straight off to training for the World Cup and it’s back to business now.
“To be honest, married life has been great, but since coming back from the honeymoon, I went straight off to the training for the World Cup. Then there was the World Cup and I’ve come back with an injured knee, so I think Lucy is sick of me at this stage,” Tommy said.
“The wedding was brilliant, we had a super summer and I suppose it’s just a case of trying to get back to normality now. Me being on crutches hasn’t helped!”
Bowe is now on crutches after suffering an injury to his knee ligaments during Ireland's quarter final clash against Argentina and is still recovering from surgery last month.
“With the World Cup, the build up is so big, we had an 11 week pre-season where I was in Dublin, Cork or Galway – I was all over Ireland, so I wasn’t getting to see Lucy,” he explained.
“You’re home for one or two nights of the week and then you’re away for six, seven weeks, so it’s a long time apart. She was able to come to matches and support, but now that I’m back home, it’s nice to just get back into your own bed, lay up your sofa and have some home cooked food.
"We’re playing the sport that we love and we’re very fortunate. It’s probably the wives and girlfriends who suffer the brunt of it!"
He certainly hasn’t been resting on his laurels at home. Today, he graduated with a post-graduate diploma in business management from Hibernia College and the University of London and he has been busy working on further expanding his XV Kings clothing collection.
Tommy has turned into something of a tour de force in fashion since launching his debut shoe range with Irish company Lloyd & Pryce in 2012. Last year, he expanded into a clothing range, the XV Kings Collection and it now boasts a collection of more than 60 pieces.
“We’re still very new to the whole clothing scene, it only started really in 2013. We’re trying to expand it and improve it as each season has gone on,” he explained.
“I try to get involved as I can. With the shoes at the very start, it was very difficult for me because I didn’t know really what styles sell and what doesn’t since we moved into clothing with XV Kings Clothing, it’s something I’ve been able to have more influence in.”
While might often be heralded as one of Ireland’s most stylish men, he was in for a shock when he found his personal style didn’t always appeal to the masses.
“I found it strange at the start because I figured everything I liked would sell really well,” he said. “It’s not always about what you like. My favourite pair of shoes…they bombed. That takes getting used to but that’s where experience comes in.”
As for where the Bowes will be spending their first Christmas as husband and wife, Tommy said they plan on sticking to his native Monaghan.
“I’m not too sure yet, it’s not confirmed, but I think I might be staying in Ireland. But obviously I don’t think I’ll be playing at Christmas, so hopefully…it’s still up in the air.”