Bowe back after astonishing recovery

Published Thursday, 27 June 2013
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Tommy Bowe has been promoted to the starting XV as the British and Irish Lions make five changes for the second Test against Australia.

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The Ulsterman, who broke his hand three weeks ago and initially looked like he would miss the rest of the tour, has made a remarkable recovery after undergoing surgery.

Bowe will wear a hurling glove for protection during Saturday's game at the Etihad Stadium and revealed he faced intensive physiotherapy to put himself in contention.

"To have fractured my hand and still be here and now go into one of the biggest matches of my career feels pretty surreal," said the 29-year-old.

I feel fully primed and ready to go

Tommy Bowe

"I've been having physio three to four times a day and have been consistently icing my hand. It's been a pretty frantic regime but it's amazing how good my hand feels.

"I know I am capable of getting myself back up to match speed pretty quickly."

Meanwhile fellow Irishmen Brian O'Driscoll, Jonathan Sexton and Jamie Heaslip were also named in Warren Gatland's squad.

Dan Lydiate was preferred ahead of blindside flanker Tom Croft, who must settle for a place among the replacements.

Ben Youngs replaces scrum-half Mike Phillips while Bowe forces right wing Alex Cuthbert.

Completing the new arrivals are loosehead prop Mako Vunipola and lock Geoff Parling, who have profited from injuries to Alex Corbisiero and Paul O'Connell.

British & Irish Lions:

15. Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues / Wales)

14. Tommy Bowe (Ulster / Ireland)
13. Brian O'Driscoll (Leinster / Ireland)
12. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets / Wales)
11. George North (Scarlets / Wales)

10. Jonathan Sexton (Leinster / Ireland)
9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers / England)

1. Makovina Vunipola (Saracens / England)
2. Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers / England)
3. Adam Jones (Ospreys / Wales)
4. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys / Wales)
5. Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers / England)
6. Dan Lydiate (Dragons / Wales)
7. Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues / Wales, captain)
8. Jamie Heaslip (Leinster / Ireland)


16. Richard Hibbard (Ospreys / Wales)
17. Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors / Scotland)
18. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers / England)
19. Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers / England)
20. Sean O'Brien (Leinster / Ireland)
21. Conor Murray (Munster / Ireland)
22. Owen Farrell (Saracens / England)
23. Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues / Wales)

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