Tommy Bowe backs Andrew Trimble to answer Ireland's call as Jared Payne ruled out of Rugby World Cup
'Trimby's a really great mate of mine, I'd love to see him out here'
Tommy Bowe has backed his Ulster team-mate Andrew Trimble to replace the injured Jared Payne in Ireland’s Rugby World Cup squad.
The IRFU confirmed this morning that Payne would miss the remainder of the tournament after further scans on a foot injury revealed a fracture.
The New Zealand born centre is a significant blow to Joe Schmidt’s side and Trimble or Fergus McFadden now look the most likely to link up with the squad on Monday.
No decision on Payne’s replacement will be made until after tomorrow’s game against France when the management can count the cost of what will be a hugely physical encounter.
Trimble was the most high profile omission from Schmidt’s original 31-man squad and Bowe is hoping to see him get the call.
“Listen, Trimby's a really great mate of mine, I'd love to see him out here,” Bowe said after this morning’s captain’s run.
“I think that he has a fantastic opportunity to be here, he was definitely a guy who trained exceptionally well during pre-season.
“He's a very experienced customer, he's shown exactly what sort of quality he has and when it comes to these big matches, we know what we can expect from a player of his quality.
“So I think that Andrew is definitely one person who will be eagerly hoping that he's the man who gets the call up, but unfortunately I know as little as anyone at the minute and thankfully it's not my call who comes out.”
After the first scan showed up clear, Payne underwent a second one yesterday as he felt discomfort following training.
His injury means that Schmidt wlll have been denied a chance to see his first choice centre partnership of Payne and Robbie Henshaw at the World Cup and captain Paul O’Connell admitted that he was a “big loss” to the squad.
“What he's done in the short time he's played for Ireland has been incredible,” O’Connell stressed.
“He's very calm on the pitch, he'll tell you exactly what to do in one short sentence.
“He's had an elder statesman attitude about how he goes about things.
“For the journey he's been on to get here, it's hugely disappointing for the group when it was announced this morning.”
Bowe maintained that Ireland must quickly put the disappointment behind them as they prepare for tomorrow’s pool decider at the Millennium Stadium.
“Of course losing a player like that is going to be a massive blow to any squad. It’s disappointing news for us but we know that it’s the nature of the competition and there’s always going to be injuries,” Bowe said.
“I suppose we’ve been very fortunate in only losing one player compared to some teams out there. But yeah, we’re all very disappointed when we heard the news that his World Cup was over.
“But we need to focus on the match tomorrow and move on. We know we have plenty of strength and depth in the squad that can fill in those positions.
“It was a bit of a shock to everybody when we heard this morning and disappointed. Listen, we’re gutted for him. It’s your worst fear.
“You put in so much effort, so much training and to get to this stage where these are the real big matches coming up, to miss out on that is disappointing for him.”
“He wished us all the best this morning. You can see it in his face he's very disappointed, we're all disappointed for him. He knows what we've got ahead of us. We all do, so it's about concentrating on the game tomorrow.”
Belfast Telegraph Digital