Tommy Bowe: I never felt fully assured of my place before the World Cup

The Ulsterman joined Ger and Brian O'Driscoll on tonight's Off The Ball to talk World Cup and injuries

Tommy Bowe: I never felt fully assured of my place before the World Cup

©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Tommy Bowe may be injured, but you can be sure that the Monaghan native has been kept a close on Ulster's progress in his absence.

After last week's rout of Toulouse, the Irish province face the French side again this weekend and Bowe is confident of the progress they've made so far this season, citing the arrival of Les Kiss as one of the key factors.

"He's come in and first and foremost, I think he's challenged the coaches" he said.

"At the start I'm sure they didn't know what to think, but when he came I think he recognised the quality that a lot of the players had.

"He's given the likes of Paddy Jackson and Ruan Pineaar the confidence. It's still at the early stages but he's given the boys the confidence to succeed."

The 31-year-old gave an update on the severity of the injury sustained at the World Cup also and explained that despite his performances at the tournament, he wasn't sure he'd make the starting 15.

"The injury is coming on well, it's a very slow process at the moment. I'm coming up on eight weeks post-surgery, I' still in a leg brace, trying to keep it in position.

"It's feeling a lot better, I'm getting some strength back in to it and am able to bend my leg a little bit now as well.

"Ahead of the World Cup I was finding pre-season quite difficult. I didn't come back in the best shape I could have and with the strength we have in the back five, I was always under pressure to hit form again. "

Schmidt's selections throughout the campaign had been varied to keep the squad fresh ahead of their crunch Pool clash with France and Bowe says that the rotation was challenging for him.

"Going into the first match against Canada and not to be selected was a bit of a blow for me.

"When I was fit I had gotten used to being picked, so not hearing my name get called was disappointing but I think Keith Earls and Dave Kearney were playing super rugby at the time."

You can listen to the full Friday Night BODcast below.