Bowe returns for Ulster's QF clash

Bowe returns for Ulster's QF clash

Tommy Bowe is back on the bench for Ulster's Heineken Cup Quarter-Final, as Saturday's line-up is revealed.

The 29-year-old has been out of action since December, when he damaged knee ligaments while playing against Northampton.

But Mark Anscombe has named the winger among his replacements for his side's clash against Saracens at Twickenham.

Earlier this year, Bowe said it was unlikely he would be ruled fit to play in the quarter final, but now says he is delighted to be back.

"It has been a tough 16 weeks now since the operation."

The Monaghan man admitted he was coming back into play on a big match but said he is raring to go.

"Hopefully I will get onto the pitch at some stage and I'm looking forward to getting the ball in my hands again.

"It's going to be a big occasion for Ulster and hopefully we'll do the fans proud."

Mark Anscombe said he is confident that Bowe is ready to don his Ulster shirt.

"Tommy has trained very well. He is chomping at the bit to get out there - he has missed a lot of rugby and he wants to play. We want to accommodate him because he is a world-class player.

He said: "It is a credit to our Head of Strength and Conditioning, Jonny Davis, and to Gareth Robinson, Alan McCaldin and the rest of our medical staff that he is ready."

Tight-head prop John Afoa is back in the starting XV, returning from New Zealand following the birth of his third child.

Elsewhere Iain Henderson replaces Robbie Diack at blindside flanker, and Luke Marshall has recovered from the concussion sustained playing for Ireland against Italy in the 6 Nations.

More than 35,000 tickets have been sold for the London clash, which kicks off at 6.30pm.

Anscombe said the players were looking forward to getting onto the pitch.

"We're playing in the quarter-final of a great competition, at one of the best grounds in rugby, against the side leading the Aviva Premiership and there's going to be a big crowd," he added.

"It doesn't get any better than that."

Team in full:
J Payne, A Trimble, D Cave, L Marshall, C Gilroy, P Jackson, R Pienaar, T Court, R Best, J Afoa, J Muller (c), D Tuohy, I Henderson, C Henry, N Williams.

Replacements: R Herring, C Black, R Lutton, R Diack, M McComish, P Marshall, S Olding, T Bowe.


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