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Bowe has to start for Irish: Holley

By Gavin Mairs

Tommy Bowe should be a definite starter for Ireland in the autumn Test series, according to Ospreys coach Sean Holley.

Former Ravenhill star Bowe equalled the Magners League try-scoring with a second-half touchdown against Ulster in the 43-0 rout at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday night.

Bowe, playing at outside centre, delivered a commanding performance in a stunning display by the Ospreys which condemned Ulster to a fourth successive defeat and bottom place in the Magners League.

And Holley believes Bowe, who has made a huge impression at the Ospreys since arriving this summer, is ready to be a key man for Ireland this season.

“Even in the previous regime I found it astounding how they could keep Tommy out for so long,” said Holley.

“He is a shoe-in for me in the Ireland team. He’s on form, he is young, he is fit, he is versatile, defends well and is good in the air. He’d be close to the Welsh team, I tell you!”

Bowe admitted it was strange scoring against his old team-mates

“I am playing for the Ospreys now and am very happy to be here,” said Bowe, who equalled Matthew Watkins’ record of 30 tries with his second-half touchdown.

“I am really enjoying my rugby and it was the decision I made to come here. Obviously I have no regrets coming here at all and I am looking to move on to bigger and better things.

“Coming up against Ulster is going to be awkward obviously and to score, it’s part of the game I suppose. But I still chatted to the boys afterwards.”

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