RUGBY UNION: Tommy Bowe ready for first Baa-Baas start

Tommy Bowe
Tommy Bowe
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Tommy Bowe is a two time British Lion tourist, the leading all time try scorer in Pro12 history and has amassed 67 Ireland caps but on Friday night for the first time he will represent the Barbarians in his home stadium as they face Fiji in a glamour friendly.

“It's a huge honour, I'm delighted to get the call up and delighted to be asked,” said Bowe.

“The Baa-baas is one of those rugby traditions that you grow up with, everyone has seen the Gareth Edwards try, them beating the All Blacks.

“I never thought I'd get the chance to be a part of and I'm looking forward to the match tonight, personally I need game time to get that match sharpness back, playing a match like this should be right up my alley.

“It's amazing for the Baa-baas to come to Belfast, the first time since 1957, it's a big occasion against the Fijians.

“It doesn't get much better rugby wise and hopefully we'll have a good crowd, it's great to be in front of the home crowd.

“The guys have been out on the pitch, into the changing rooms, they're really impressed by the set-up we have and looking forward to the game.”

Syd Miller the man who led the 1974 Lions invincibles in South Africa will present the Baa-Baas with their shirts before the game.

“Syd is a legend on and off the pitc It's one of the many traditions that come with the Barbarians, the jerseys being presented shows the honour with being selected.

“There's lot's of little touches that they do and it seems like they've done for a long, long time, to meet some of the guys like Micky (Steele-Bodger) who has been the president for a long, long time and has lots of stories.

“It's just nice to be around it, I almost wish it was a few weeks and not a few days.”Bowe starts at outside centre but doesn’t think his night won’t be any easier by avoiding a direct match up with Fiji’s huge winger Nemani Nadolo.

“I haven't played centre in a few years, I enjoy getting a run out there.

“I played it a lot over in Wales, even just to get the guys names, know the moves, we'll only have one training session so we've to get out there and get stuck in.

“It's not just Nadolo, the Fijians will have a couple of big players.”It's going to be a good game, they play a good brand of rugby, there probably won't be many rucks, that suits me perfectly.”