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Bowe banking on Irish revival

Tommy Bowe has evoked memories of Ireland's success last autumn in an attempt to inspire a change in the team's fortunes.

The Irish launch their four-Test autumn campaign with Saturday's clash against South Africa at the redeveloped Aviva Stadium. A five-match losing streak, three of them Tests, dating back to the final encounter of the RBS 6 Nations against Scotland has left them desperately seeking a victory.

"We're a side who want to be getting back to winning ways with the World Cup looming," said the Ospreys winger. "We want to get back to the style of play we had when we were beating the top teams in the world like this time last year."

He added: "We know what's at stake and we know they're on the back of a few losses so it's a great opportunity to get another good win against South Africa.

"The summer tour was obviously very disappointing but the players are well over that and we're looking forward to the next stage."

In years gone by the Springboks would have been viewed as daunting opposition, but three consecutive victories in the fixture has left Ireland expectant more than hopeful of success.

Further improving their chances of starting the autumn in triumphant fashion is that the tourists have been robbed of 13 players through injury.

Star names such as Bryan Habana, Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield remain, however, and Bowe refuses to underestimate any Springbok side.

"They have such a wealth of talent in South Africa, it's a religion for them," he said. "They've any amount of players coming through and I'd say no matter what injuries they have they'll still have a great squad.

"We don't really think about their injuries too much. I look at it as whatever side they're going to bring it's going to be a fairly physical, impressive team."


From Belfast Telegraph