Bowe pushes himself back into Ireland equation for Italy game
There was a time, not long ago, when Tommy Bowe and Ireland went together like bacon and cabbage.
You rarely saw one without the other when it came to the international arena.
Apparently, the Monaghan man returned to pre-season from a month in which he married in Wales and honeymooned in The Maldives.
At that time, Dave Kearney was training like a lunatic beside his brother Rob in Portugal on recovery from a knee injury.
A gap in preparation was created and never fully closed. Until now.
Bowe was rightly made to carry the can for his tame tackle on Jonny May and mediocre form at Twickenham.
“I would normally be relatively consistent with my performances, but that day was definitely one of the more difficult ones,” he said.
“But I’ve bounced back and put it behind me relatively early.”
The rumours of Kearney’s superb condition in Carton House was confirmed by his undeniable influence before and during the World Cup.
The return to form of Bowe has thrown the ownership of the 11 and 14 jerseys back into debate.
Bowe has found the intensity and rhythm Kearney and Keith Earls have shown all along.
Will the service Bowe has shown his country and his big game experience count?
Or have Kearney and Earls gone beyond recall?