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Page last updated at 08:38 GMT, Friday, 11 March 2011

Ireland wing Tommy Bowe targets Wales bragging rights

Six Nations: WALES v IRELAND
Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Date: Sat, 12 March Kick-off: 1700 GMT
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One Wales, BBC One HD and online from 1635-1900; Listen on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Radio 5 Live; Text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles


Tommy Bowe
Bowe was recruited by the Ospreys from Ulster in 2008

Ireland wing Tommy Bowe admits clashing with his Ospreys team-mates on Saturday will add an extra edge to the Six Nations clash against Wales.

Bowe is keen for Ireland to repeat their Cardiff victory of two years ago which sealed the Grand Slam.

"Me coming up against my team-mates from the Ospreys certainly adds an extra bit of spice," said Bowe.

"For me I have always wanted to get that win. It gives me that extra bragging rights whenever I go back."

Bowe added: "Certainly this weekend if I can come away win it will make life a little bit easier for me when I go back to Wales."

Back in 2009 Bowe scored a try which helped send Ireland to their first Grand Slam for 61 years with a 17-15 victory over the Welsh.

It is a match which brings back fond memories for the 27-year-old Ulsterman in what was his only appearance at the Millennium Stadium to date.

"I've only played at the Millennium once. I think it's probably my favourite away stadium to play in," admitted the British and Irish Lion, who will come up against eight Ospreys team-mates in Wales' starting line-up.

"The atmosphere when we came out on [for] that game - it seems the whole of Wales turns up in Cardiff on the day of an international.

For us we still have the Triple Crown to play for which is massive for us going into the World Cup, and for Wales, likewise, they have still got an awful lot to play for

Tommy Bowe

"There is a great buzz around the city, certainly in the stadium it's an atmosphere like no other. It's one I have fond memories of.

"Maybe I can get on the score sheet again, but more importantly come away with a win."

And Bowe believes that Ireland are a more direct side than 2009, having scored seven tries in three games.

"[The 2009 team] were coming on very well at the time, but this team is probably another step above," believed Bowe.

"We are trying to play a style of rugby that we can score tries as well and we are not just relying on the boot to kick points."

The Wales-Ireland game is a pivotal clash in the championship with both teams having won two and lost one so far. So something has to give as both countries attempt to keep pace with unbeaten England.

On Wales 37-times capped Bowe said: "I think they are very similar to ourselves. They are obviously going to feel happier having had the two wins.

"I think the first 20 minutes against Scotland they were exceptional, played some great rugby and showed some great defence to hold on for the rest of the game.

"The Italians, obviously was a bit like ourselves. It's a very difficult place to go but they managed to grind out a win which is the important thing and I think they will be confident going into this match.

"The pressure is definitely on for both teams. Both are in a similar position, but I think both teams are going into it with an air of optimism.

"Certainly for us we still have the Triple Crown to play for which is massive for us going into the World Cup, and for Wales, likewise, they have still got an awful lot to play for."



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