Ospreys Swoop To Sign Irish Speedster

The Ospreys today confirmed that Irish international Tommy Bowe has signed a three-year contract with the region.

The Monaghan born player will make the switch from the Ospreys Magners League rivals Ulster at the end of the current campaign, committing himself to the region until the end of the 2010/2011 season.

Renowned for his electric pace, Bowe is Ulster's top try scorer so far this season with five, including a brace in the Ulsterman's 29-21 Heineken Cup defeat at Gloucester on Sunday, where he outshone English rugby's man of the moment Lesley 'The Volcano' Vainikolo.

Capable of playing anywhere in the back three, 23 year-old Bowe stands 6ft 3 tall (1.91m) and weighs 15st 2lb (96kg).

A former Irish Rugby Young Player of the Year and Ulster Rugby Personality of the Year, Bowe is a firm favourite with the Ravenhill fans. He made his Ulster debut during the 2003/04 campaign, helping himself to a try against Connacht on his first start. He has faced the Ospreys on nine occasions, including Ulster's 19-17 win at the Liberty Stadium that clinched the Celtic League title in May 2006, and has scored two tries against the region. He featured in all three of the matches between the two sides so far this season.

His international debut came against the USA in November 2004, and again Bowe marked the occasion by touching down for five points. To date, he has worn the green jersey ten times, scoring three tries. He just missed the cut for Ireland's World Cup squad earlier this season, but his fine form in an Ulster shirt was rewarded earlier this month when Eddie O'Sullivan named him in his 33-man squad for the forthcoming Six Nations tournament.

Ospreys Head Coach Lyn Jones welcomed the player to the Liberty Stadium, commenting:

"We are delighted to be able to confirm the signing of Tommy Bowe, whose considerable talents will increase the options available to us behind the scrum. Although still only 23 years of age, he is a top quality player who has already enjoyed success with Ulster and has made an impact in international rugby. He has a very bright future in the game, and we're all delighted that this will be with the Ospreys.

I'm sure that he will be prove to be just as popular at the Liberty Stadium as he is at Ravenhill.

"We have made considerable progress on the field this season and are currently looking forward to big matches in both the EDF and Heineken Cup's in March and April, but that doesn't mean that we can afford to become complacent if we are to achieve our aim of establishing ourselves amongst Europe's elite rugby outfits.

"We remain committed to developing the best young Welsh talent, and our record in doing so stands up to any scrutiny, as is seen through the make-up of the current Welsh squad. However, there will always be room for high quality additions to the squad that will enhance what we already have and I think this signing is a clear statement of intent from the Ospreys, that when players become available, where appropriate we will move swiftly to secure their signature."