Six Nations Insights - Tommy Bowe
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Six Nations Insights - Tommy Bowe

The penultimate round of the Six Nations takes center stage this weekend with the French looking to to edge closer to a first title since 2010 when they take on Wales in Cardiff, Scotland who will be looking to get back to winning ways away to Italy and the standout game of the weekend which sees Ireland looking to keep their championship hopes alive when they take on England at Twickenham. Former Ireland international Tommy Bowe talks exclusively to Genting Casino ahead of what should be another thrilling weekend of Six Nations action.


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Tommy Bowe: England back line not quite firing yet and Marcus Smith needs Owen Farrell or Manu Tuilagi next to him

“He’s {Smith} been really good and grown into the position at 10. I think he’s struggled not having an Owen Farrell or Manu Tuilagi at 12 next to him.

“I don’t think the English back line is quite firing yet and I’m not too sure what it is their missing, whether it’s that experience or that extra set of eyes outside of Marcus Smith and the 12 jersey.

“I think [Marcus Smith] he’s an incredible talent. We saw it when he got his chance with the Lions in the summer and how impressive he is with Harlequins.

He’s only going to get better with time but he’s going to be a player that Ireland will target but it’s hard to pin it on one person.”

 

Tommy Bowe: Fearful for Ireland’s World Cup hopes with Johnny Sexton turning 38 before the tournament

“I am a bit fearful that we’ve got our timings wrong again, it seems a little bit like the last World Cup where we beat the All Blacks and won the Grand Slam and everything was going brilliantly, but the following year the wheels came off and teams got cute to the style of rugby we were playing.

“We also had key players in the team who were starting to move on a bit with their age and certainly you have to worry a year-and-a-half out from the World Cup.

“With the likes of Johnny Sexton, he’s 36 and he’s going to be 38 by the time the World Cup comes around. Can we really hang our hat on him?

“I still think the jury is out on Joey Carbery whether he’s really the man to replace him."

 

Tommy Bowe: Ireland vs England 'the biggest match of the competition'

“It’s probably the biggest game of the competition. From the minute you get to the airport, going through security, everyone you talk to are all excited for the match.

“It’s the one we all look forward to and certainly there’s a huge amount of pressure on the Irish rugby team when it comes to England, be it at home or away, given the rivalry and everyone knows teams like to get one over the Irish. It’s going to be a great match and with Irish being supposed favourites it adds a bit of pressure.”

Wales v France Preview - Six Nations Round Four

Wales v France Preview - Six Nations Round Four

Tommy Bowe: Exciting France are still only in third gear 

“This year we [Ireland] have had France and England away from home and generally you’d see them as the two toughest matches.

“We lost to France but we still put up a huge battle. I think the French side are still only in third gear, they still have such a level to go and it’s great to see them back at this level again.” 

 

Tommy Bowe: Amazing to stop England Grand Slam with winning try in 2010

“It was an amazing day for us. 

"England were going for the Grand Slam that day and I work as a host on the morning show here and we interviewed Ben Foden and were having a laugh that they released T-shirts saying 'England Grand Slam' before the match. These are the sort of games that you don’t need too much motivation going into, but when you see something like that it adds that extra bit of fire."

 

Tommy Bowe: France will win the Six Nations and should be counted as favourites for World Cup

“I think France are going to win it [the Six Nations]. You never know with France but they should have enough for Wales this weekend. They would love nothing more than to rub English noses in it with a win against them.

“They probably are favourites [for the World Cup]. They beat New Zealand quite comfortably in November and they’re playing some unbelievable rugby at the minute.

“I still probably couldn’t pinpoint their starting 15. They’ve got this huge abundance of quality coming through the ranks. So yeah I think they’d be favourites but I would be fearful with France that on every given day, you don’t know whether a team could catch them on the hop.

“It’s like with Wales this weekend they should beat them comfortably, but you just don’t know what will happen.”

Italy v Scotland Preview - Six Nations Round Four

Italy v Scotland Preview - Six Nations Round Four

Tommy Bowe: Eddie Jones’ pre-match mind games takes pressure off England, but Ireland are favourites

“You’ll be able to tell me what the bookies are saying but I’d imagine that Eddie Jones is probably right that Ireland are potentially favourites.

“But we all know exactly what Eddie Jones is like.

“The war of words, tactical lines he likes to give to try and stir up different headlines. I just remember when we went to England, you don’t need much to get motivated but whenever you hear different things come out, especially from Eddie Jones, it just adds another little bit of motivation to get one over the England side. I think he does it to try and sway attention towards him and away from his own team and he’s a bit of a mastermind at that.”

 

Tommy Bowe: South Africa replacing Italy would make sense commercially, but it would be ‘criminal’ to take them out of Super Rugby Championship

“I can see from a commercial point of view that it would make complete sense to bring South Africa into a Five Nations, or a Six Nations if Italy were to be dropped out.

“It would be incredible from a competitive point of view of course with the extra eyeballs watching it from South Africa, TV money and a worldwide appeal, it would really add to it. I think where the game is worldwide, to take South Africa away from the Super Rugby Championship against New Zealand and Australia would be criminal.

“I think that to not have those games between New Zealand and South Africa, you’d have to wonder what would happen to rugby in New Zealand and Australia. I don’t think it would be good for the game worldwide and also for the Six Nations, it’s a competitive, brilliant and European competition and I think those are the things that make it really special."

 

Tommy Bowe: Scotland ‘flatter to deceive’ and ultimately always fail at the big occasions every year

“I think Scotland are very confident and they have a brilliant group of players coming through, they have a really talented squad, but they flatter to deceive all the time. We’ve seen it year after year and they don’t seem to be able to do the job.

“We’ve seen it from a club point of view, Edinburgh and Glasgow haven’t been competitive for a long time. I still think they're not where they need to be to be competing with France or with Ireland or England.”

 

Tommy Bowe: Johnny Sexton is the best fly-half Ireland ever had

“It wouldn’t be far off in saying he’s the best Irish out-half Ireland have ever had and we’ve had some greats in the 10 jersey, but he’s right up there."

 

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V: 1.20.0 All rights reserved. August 2021
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