Tommy Bowe on why there was no way he was going to turn down his Barbarians chance

Ireland and Ulster star played for the Baa-Baas in Belfast this month

Tommy Bowe

Image: ©INPHO/Presseye/Jonathan Porter

Tommy Bowe says the opportunity to play for the Barbarians was something he would never have turned down.

The Ireland and Ulster wing started for the Baa-Baas against Fiji on November 11th in Belfast and speaking to Off The Ball, he was also happy to get the chance to get much-needed game-time. 

"When the opportunity came along to play for the Barbarians, a lot of people would be kind of thinking that you'd prefer a week off," he said.

"Now, I would never turn down a chance to play for the Barbarians because it's something that you grow up loving. But even just the chance to play a game, I would have bitten your hand off to play anyone because I haven't played in so long. I know I need game time."  

Barbarians' Tommy Bowe and Fiji's Metui Talebula ©INPHO/Presseye/Darren Kidd

With his knee and body now feeling good after recent injury issues, he is looking forward to a run of the games that will get him back to his best.

It can be frustrating by his own admission though having to deal with numerous injuries that keep him out of big games for club and country. 

"It's tough to miss those because they're big games and they're the ones you want to be part of. The hard thing is this time particularly, I trained so hard leading up to the World Cup. I went into that pre-season - I'd just got married - maybe not being as fit as I'd like to have been, so I had to push myself really hard to try and get myself up to the level I had to be at going into a World Cup. And going to that World Cup I felt I was right back at the peak of my career really, and then to injure myself in that quarter-final and have to spend 11 months out... and then you're trying to teach your leg to bend and to straighten out again. To go from the high of that sort of standard of rugby to go right back down to square one and build yourself back up to that top level again, mentally more than anything - physically it will come back - mentally every morning to try and hit that new target and then maybe not hit a target one day and not go home too down on yourself but to come back in fighting and ready to go again, it gives you huge mental confidence and builds character. It gives you a new perspective and whenever I'm out on the pitch at the minute, I'm not quite where I want to be."