Tommy Bowe made his senior Ireland debut against the USA in November 2004

Ireland and Ulster wing Tommy Bowe has announced that he will quit the sport at the end of this season.

The 33-year-old, who won 69 caps for Ireland after making his debut in 2004, also played for the British and Irish Lions in 2009 and 2013.

A shoulder injury sustained earlier this month ended his slim hopes of being in Ireland’s Six Nations squad.

In a tweet Bowe said he “had some incredible years but it’s time to tell you – this is my last!”

Bowe has endured a series of injuries in recent seasons and his current shoulder problem, picked up while playing for Ulster against Leinster, will for eight weeks.

The Monaghan man made his competitive debut for Ulster against Connacht in April 2004 and enjoyed a spell with the Ospreys, before returning to his home province for the 2012-13 season.

Bowe played in all three Lions Tests against South Africa in 2009, and in two Tests in Australia in 2013.

He was a member of Ireland’s 2009 Grand Slam-winning team and was named Six Nations Player of the Championship in 2010.

The former minor Gaelic footballer became the first man from Monaghan to play for Ireland in 80 years.

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Six Nations: Ireland’s Bowe relives ‘special’ try against Wales

A career highlight came in the 2009 Six Nations with his superb catch-and-run try against Wales helped Ireland seal the Grand Slam.

Bowe scored 150 points in his long Ireland career while he has chalked up 310 points in 163 appearances for Ulster.


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