Winger Bowe set to go toe-to-toe with fellow Lions for award
27 April 2010 10:41am
Tommy Bowe dives over for a try
British and Irish Lions trio Tommy Bowe, Jamie Heaslip and Keith Earls will battle it out of the title of IRUPA Players' Player of the Year after making up the shortlist for the 2010 award.
Heaslip was one of only four players, with Brian O'Driscoll, Paul O'Connell and John Hayes the others, to play in all of Ireland's matches this season - including a draw with Australia and victory over South Africa in the autumn.
Earls has overcome an injury-hit campaign to grab five tries in six games and heads into the summer tour down under as Ireland's top international try scorer.
After claiming the award two years ago Bowe is an early favourite for this year's crown, which will be presented on May 12 in Dublin.
The 26-year-old Ospreys wing grabbed the first try of the 2009 Lions tour and started all three tests against South Africa - finishing runner-up in the Player of the Series award to Jamie Roberts, before claiming the RBS 6 Nations Player of the Championship for 2010.
"Winning an award voted for by players who you play and compete against is the best tribute for any rugby player," said IRUPA chief executive Niall Woods.
After Ireland's heroic big-game hunt of the Springboks and Scotland's six-try runaround of the Pumas, the challenge of engineering the most spectacular win of the autumn series now falls on Wales, writes Peter Jackson.