With all four provinces in European action this weekend, Ulster, Leinster, Munster and Connacht players know this would be a very good time to shine.
Ireland’s RSB Six Nations Championship campaign kicks off on Saturday, February 5 with Italy providing the opposition in Rome.
With an announcement of the squad’s make-up imminent, Ulster’s Irish internationals know a big performance today against last season’s Heineken Cup runners-up will not do their prospects of inclusion any harm.
Rory Best, Tom Court, Stephen Ferris, Paddy Wallace and Andrew Trimble were the five northerners who saw action in the Guinness Series back in November and they can be optimistic about their chances.
Having just signed a new Ulster contract this week, Trimble spoke about what a good performance at provincial level can do for international prospects.
“As well as the challenges we have coming up in the Heineken Cup and Magners League, I was conscious that I also wanted to concentrate on playing as well as possible here with Ulster so I can challenge for a place with Ireland ahead of the Six Nations and the World Cup this year,” he said.
“You achieve international goals the same way as you achieve goals with Ulster. You try to play as well as you can as an individual in the hope that if we continue to perform well as a team you put yourself in a position where you’ll be noticed.
“Your hope is that if you’re playing well then they can’t ignore you, but the goals are achieved in exactly the same way so it doesn’t change my mind set at all.”
Trimble reassured anyone who may have doubted his commitment to today’s challenge by adding: “This weekend’s game against Biarritz is my first priority; everybody in Ulster Rugby is firmly focused on that.”