Tommy Bowe: Ireland winger rules himself out of Six Nations

Tommy Bowe aims to return before season ends

Ireland winger Tommy Bowe will miss this year's Six Nations as he continues his recovery from a cruciate knee ligament injury.

The 31-year-old Ulster player had hoped to return early this year after he was injured during Ireland's World Cup quarter-final defeat by Argentina.

"Unfortunately it's a slow process and to rule yourself out of the Six Nations is disappointing," said Bowe.

Bowe, capped 67 times, expects to return for Ulster later this season.

Ireland begin their Six Nations campaign against Wales in Dublin on 7 February.

Bowe said in November that, although he needed surgery, the injury was not as bad as he initially feared.

But speaking on Tuesday, he said: "I have to concentrate on getting myself back to where I was and there's no point in rushing it.

"To be back by the start of February is unlikely but I'm still pretty positive I can add something to Ulster's season."