Bowe ties

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Tommy Bowe | The Shape I’m In - Irene Feighan

AWK­WARD it the sim­ple tag-line Tommy Bowe at­taches to an In­sta­gram post from an out­door fash­ion shoot for his XV Kings cloth­ing col­lec­tion. But surely the Ir­ish In­ter­na­tional rugby player is used to stand­ing in front of the cam­era? “It’s fine when you’re in a stu­dio and no one else can see you. But when you have to go out in the street and peo­ple look­ing at you — it’s pretty awk­ward,” says the 33-year-old.

Nat­u­rally, his team­mates are only too happy to tease him about the smol­der­ing pic­tures.

“It’s non-stop,” he says. “They are full of slagging un­til they start won­der­ing when they are they go­ing to get a new top or pair of shoes.” (He also runs Lloyd & Pryce footwear.)

With a post­grad­u­ate di­ploma in busi­ness man­age­ment in his back pocket, he’s long been aware of the need to de­velop a ca­reer off the pitch. “I do en­joy hav­ing some­thing out­side of rugby to take your mind off rugby all the time which I think is a pos­i­tive thing to do.

“I en­joy­ing chat­ting to the guys in­volved with the clothes and the shoes. I find it re­ally in­ter­est­ing and to go and talk to some cus­tomers, shop own­ers, and dis­cuss dif­fer­ent de­signs. It’s the real world com­pared to rugby which is so much of a bub­ble.”

From Mon­aghan, he is now liv­ing in Belfast with his wife Lucy.

The cou­ple an­nounced the birth of Emma in April.

“The first few months were pretty dif­fi­cult — huge credit is due to my wife Lucy for do­ing an in­cred­i­ble job.

“I’ve had my fair share of sleep­less nights. Although I haven’t been able to do much.

“Thank­fully she’s be­come a good sleeper — I think she’s like her mum and her dad — she en­joys her sleep. Hope­fully, we can con­tinue with that.”

And now Emma’s six months old, she’s be­gin­ning to no­tice more about the world around her. “Com­ing in from train­ing, she recog­nises my voice. It’s re­ally spe­cial.”

Tommy Bowe is an am­bas­sador for Sub­way, the of­fi­cial spon­sor of Sport for Schools, a pro­gramme that helps pri­mary schools raise money for PE equip­ment and gives chil­dren ac­cess to fit­ness cir­cuits run by top-class ath­letes. For de­tails see: www.sports­forschools.org

What shape are you in? At the mo­ment I’m in pretty good shape. I’m in­jury free, which is great. We’re on the pitch for an hour and a half once or twice a day. We’re in the gym for an hour a day. On Mon­day, Tues­day, and Thurs­day we’ll have tough train­ing days. Wed­nes­day would nor­mally be in train­ing for an hour or so. For matches, we would usu­ally train on a Fri­day or Satur­day.

What are your health­i­est eat­ing habits? I tend to lose weight when train­ing, so I have to eat more and get my calo­rie in­take up. It’s a nice way to be. Un­for­tu­nately, it’s not all ex­tra Chi­nese food and fish and chips. I keep a bal­anced diet. On a train­ing day, we’d have four main meals a day: 40% carbs, 40% pro­tein, and 20% veg­eta­bles.

What are your guilti­est plea­sures? Af­ter din­ner in the even­ing, I en­joy a cup of tea with a bis­cuit or two. I mix it up. It could be a packet of cus­tard creams — noth­ing too ex­cit­ing.

How do you re­lax? If I’ve any time off I try to get home and spend time with Lucy and Emma. And maybe take Bonny — our cocker spaniel — out for a walk.

Who would you in­vite to your dream din­ner party? Richard Bran­son, Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger — I just read his book, he’s a very driven man — and Roger Fed­erer, I’d like to hear how he came back to win two matches this year.

What’s your favourite smell?

Freshly cut grass — which means I fi­nally got round to cut­ting it.

What would you like to change about your ap­pear­ance?

Plenty of things. Play­ing rugby, it could be a bro­ken nose and a few bro­ken fin­gers but I’m not go­ing to fix it now. In any pro­fes­sional sport there’s a bit of wear and tear on the body.

When is the last time you cried?

I welled up when Emma was born. I was as close to cry­ing as I could have been.

What traits do you least like in oth­ers?

Peo­ple who don’t have good road man­ners can an­noy me. I try not to get too up­set about things.

What traits do you least like about your­self?

I can be a bit im­pa­tient. In try­ing to man­age ev­ery­thing it’s hard to get time for ev­ery­thing. But I think we’re man­ag­ing to get by — just about.

Do you pray? I’d say the odd prayer. I wouldn’t con­sider my­self overly reli­gious — I still be­lieve there is prob­a­bly a higher be­ing.

What would cheer up your day?

If the rain would go away — it’s pour­ing down out­side.

“The first few months were pretty dif­fi­cult — huge credit is due to my wife Lucy”

Pic: INPHO

ON THE BALL: Ulster and Ire­land rugby star Tommy Bowe is an am­bas­sador for Sub­way, spon­sor of Sport For Schools.

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