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Six Nations bonus points will benefit Joe Schmidt's Ireland, says Tommy Bowe

By Will Slattery

Ulster and Ireland wing Tommy Bowe has welcomed the addition of bonus points to the Six Nations - and thinks the new system will work in Ireland's favour next year.

The Six Nations have adopted the same bonus points systems as the Champions Cup, so an additional match point is awarded to a team who scores four or more tries, and to a team who loses by seven points or less.

To ensure that Grand Slam winners automatically win the Six Nations, teams who complete a clean sweep will be awarded three extra points.

There has been a lot of discussion since today's announcement of whether this move will benefit the Irish team, who won back-to-back Six Nations crowns in 2014 and 2015.

In the latter year, they scored just eight tries on the way to victory, four of which came in their final game against Scotland.

Tommy Bowe, who played for Ireland during that campaign, doesn't agree with the notion that the team will struggle to rack up bonus points in 2017.

"I think it will suit Joe Schmidt's Ireland," he told

"For Ireland to have scored 40 points against the All Blacks over in Chicago it showed that we can score tries and be exciting. Going forward it will be a good thing for rugby in general and hopefully for Ireland that will mean the emphasis will be on scoring tries and that will be a positive."

Ireland open their 2017 Six Nations campaign away to Scotland on 4 February and finish with a mouthwatering home clash against defending Grand Slam champions England on March 18.

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