Bowe blow for Ireland and Ulster

Tommy Bowe is set to miss Ireland's tour of South Africa after undergoing another knee operation.

The wing made his Ulster return last month after spending six months on the sidelines due to a knee injury sustained during Ireland's Rugby World Cup quarter-final defeat against Argentina in October.

Ulster revealed that Bowe underwent exploratory arthroscopy of his right knee after experiencing discomfort since playing against Zebre in the Pro12 in the middle of last month.

The 32-year-old has not suffered any further damage, but will miss the Pro12 semi-final against Leinster a week on Friday and is not expected to return until pre-season.

Former Ospreys flyer Bowe is not expected to feature in Ireland's three-match series against the Springboks, which starts at Newlands on June 11.

Bowe's Ulster team-mate Louis Ludik's season is also over as the full-back prepares to undergo groin surgery on Thursday.