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Ulster star Tommy Bowe 'not finished yet,' as he eyes more glory

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster star Tommy Bowe believes his departing team-mate Dan Tuohy will be missed at Kingspan Stadium. The lock is on the verge of sealing a move to Aviva Premiership side Bristol after flying in for talks and a medical on Tuesday despite having 18 months to run on his Ulster deal.

"He'll be a loss," admitted Bowe. "He's an experienced guy, he's been around seven-and-a-half years. He's embedded himself in the Ulster set-up.

"I know Dan very well. I've been involved in the rehab group with him for the last while so we've spent a lot of time together. He's a great guy around the squad, a popular lad."

Despite having won 11 Ireland caps, Tuohy (right) was born in Bristol, played his first professional rugby for local rivals Gloucester, and still has family in the south-west of England.

"It sounds like it'll be a good opportunity," said Bowe. "For the opportunity to sign what I think is a long deal, he's going to live with his dad for a bit, it's a nice opportunity."

The winger, however, is sure that Ulster's decision makers would not leave the side short in the engine room.

Director of Rugby Les Kiss and Operations Manager Bryn Cunningham have Franco van der Merwe, who is in the last year of his deal, Iain Henderson, Pete Browne, Alan O'Connor and Kieran Treadwell at their disposal, while Robbie Diack can also play in the second-row.

"Ulster, Bryn, Les and the coaches will have it well thought out," he said.

Tuohy has had an injury-plagued number of years with Ulster, twice breaking his arm and then suffering ligament damage last December.

He has since returned to fitness, making two appearances in the Guinness PRO12 so far this season.

Ahead of their game with Gloucester this weekend, Bristol's acting head coach Mark Tainton told the club's fans to "wait and see" when it comes to new signings.

They are currently sitting bottom of the Premiership with nine losses from nine games.

Meanwhile, former Ulster player Anton Peikrishvili, who is now with Cardiff, has been handed a six-week ban for a biting offence.

The Georgian, who arrived on a short-term deal but never featured in Belfast, could have faced Ulster this weekend but will now not be available for the Blues.

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