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Bowe ready for World Cup challenge

Tommy Bowe insists Ireland's golden generation are determined to deliver on rugby's greatest stage.

The World Cup has been an unhappy hunting ground for the Irish, who have never progressed beyond the quarter-finals and have failed to reach that stage on two occasions, in 1999 and 2007.

"People have looked at us as a bit of a golden generation. We've won a Grand Slam and countless Triple Crowns (four in six years)," he said. "But within a successful Irish team, the World Cup is the one we really want to make an impact in. Ireland have had disappointing World Cups in the past - the players are extremely motivated about making this a special one."

Ireland's form has been poor, with the resounding victory over England in March the unchallenged highlight of the year.

Four successive defeats in the warm-up internationals have done little to silence doubts that the World Cup's oldest team - their average is 29 - may be in decline.

Bowe, however, insists all that will be forgotten if they produce a statement of intent in their opener against the USA in New Plymouth on Sunday.

"Losing those games last month will be in the back of our heads but once we get off to a good start against the USA, that will be behind us," he added.

"We want to go out there, put things right and move onto bigger and better things."

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