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Six Nations: Lay off Tommy Bowe, blasts Ireland coach Schmidt after selection jibes

By Ruaidhri O'Connor

Joe Schmidt has rejected Shane Horgan's assertion that his selection of Tommy Bowe for the opening Six Nations fixture against Scotland was a "nostalgia call" after recalling the experienced Ulster winger to his match-day 23 for tomorrow 's clash with Wales.

Bowe won his 68th cap off the bench at Murrayfield and afterwards ex-Leinster wing Horgan, who won a Heineken Cup with Schmidt, castigated the decision to include him.

"That looked like a nostalgia call," Horgan said. "He hasn't been playing well, I was very surprised that he was in the 23. Tommy just didn't look as if he was up to the pace of the game at all. He had a negative contribution."

Schmidt initially left Bowe out of his squad for rounds four and five, but the two-time Lion was recalled on Sunday when fellow Ulsterman Andrew Trimble was ruled out with a hand injury.

The 33-year-old winger has leap-frogged Craig Gilroy, Jared Payne, Tiernan O'Halloran and Andrew Conway to come into an otherwise unchanged match-day squad.

"We try to base our decision on how a player is performing," said Schmidt. "I'm not sure how many nostalgic decisions I've made. But I can't really remember many. Tommy has trained the house down."

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