Bowden played three seasons for the Northland Taniwha is the Air New Zealand cup. He debuted at the age of 18, earning Player of the year in 2007. Bowden transferred from Northland to Otago for the 2008 Air New Zealand Cup, where he played in eight games.
His first match was on Saturday 9 August 2008 in Dunedin when he came off the bench against Canterbury and kicked a penalty.
Bowden went on to score 41 points in total for Otago in 2008. Bowden then signed a two-year contract with the Auckland Rugby Union.
He said the decision to move north was based solely on wanting to get back to be with his family and girlfriend, Football Ferns captain Hayley Moorwood. Bowden"s Auckland career came to halt after only four games in the 2009 season due to a season ending ankle injury.
Bowden played his first match for the Highlanders on Friday 15 February 2008 when he started against the Reds in Brisbane, he kicked one penalty for the match.
Since then he went on to play a further 10 matches for the southern Super 14 side in 2008, starting in 8 of them. Bowden finished the season with 23 points. In 2009 Bowden returned to the Highlanders franchise.
In the 2009 season he has started in all of the matches, either playing first-five or second-five.
Known as very good attacker with quick footwork and a great passing game, he scored more than 50 points in the 2009 season. He was later that year signed by the Crusaders for the 2010 Super 14 season.
Bowden was picked up in the draft by the Crusaders in the 2010 Crusaders squad. After an injury in the preseason, Bowden missed the first 5 games of the season, then starred in his debut for the Crusaders against the Cheetahs playing at flyhalf and was named Manitoba of the Match.
Bowden signed for London Irish on a two-year contract, and joined up with Irish at the end of the current Super 14 Season.
Bowden had a superb first year in the Aviva Premiership. Initially playing inside centre before moving to flyhalf, Bowden showed excellent touches on attack and was competent on defence. He displayed consistency and was selected to start 31 of 32 games in the 2010/2011 season.
He joined Premiership club Leicester Tigers for the 2012/13 season.
Dan Bowden had an injury interrupted first season at Leicester, but when did play showed flashes of brilliance. He so far has performed well at inside centre in his second season.
In May 2014, he signed with the Blues to return to New Zealand for the 2015 and 2016 Super Rugby seasons. Bowden returned to England to join Bath back in the Aviva Premiership on a lucrative two and a half year contract from January 2016.