Tommy Bowe: British and Irish Lions must move up another level against Western Force

Last Updated: 05/06/13 11:16am

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Tommy Bowe: Hopeful Ireland colleague Rob Kearney can shake off a hamstring injury

Tommy Bowe: Hopeful Ireland colleague Rob Kearney can shake off a hamstring injury

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Tommy Bowe has been impressed by the winning attitude and mentality of British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland.

The Ireland wing was a key performer in South Africa four years ago and will start in Wednesday's clash with the Western Force.

Bowe recovered from a serious injury earlier this season, earning his spot on the place with some fine showings at the tail-end of the campaign, and he has been impressed with what he has seen from Gatland.

"My main priority is to get picked in the Test squad, but I want to win. That has been the message from the outset," he said.

"Warren is here to do a job, he is here to pick a team that's going to go and win the series.

"He wants to be 2-0 up (in the series), and I think that is exciting for us as players because he's breeding that confidence into us and I think it is really shining down throughout the squad."

Standards

The Lions smashed the Barbarians 59-8 in Hong Kong on Saturday and Bowe says they must move things up another level against the Western Force.

"The last tour we started off quite poorly and it made the guys go and lift the standard in the second game," Bowe added.

"This time around the standard has been set, and it's up to us now who have just come in to take that on and expand on it again. I think I'd say I have been very happy with how we've trained this week."

Bowe, meanwhile, is also backing his Ireland colleague Rob Kearney to keep battling the hamstring injury that has sidelined him on tour so far and given the Lions management cause for concern.

The injury - scans carried out in Hong Kong confirmed it as a grade one tear - means he was the only player among a 37-man squad who could not be considered for Wednesday's game.

"I think he's just disappointed, as you would be," Bowe said.

"He wants to be involved and get training and playing. Unfortunately, it's taken a little bit longer than expected.

"But he has had a super end to the season, he's played some great rugby, he's coming in with lots of confidence and he will get his chance."

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