RBS 6 Nations: Ireland in with a shout, says Andrew Trimble
Ireland have already done enough to suggest they won't be mere bit-part players in this season's Six Nations championship.
And, after the 28-6 win over Scotland at the Aviva Stadium, Ulster's Andrew Trimble is also hoping he has done enough to stay in the team for what could well be an exciting series.
Trimble – one of five Ravenhill stars who started the game – scored a crucial try just before half-time to settle Irish nerves.
And the man who won his 51st cap yesterday was delighted with his contribution, glad Ireland got off to a winning start and looking forward to Saturday's encounter with Wales.
"It was a big opportunity and I just wanted to make sure I worked hard and got into the game and made an impact – so I was happy enough with that," he said.
Trimble (right) and his colleagues now believe Ireland – who top the table after the first series of fixtures – are in with a shout this time round, under new coach Joe Schmidt.
The Ravenhill starting contingent was unexpectedly increased to five after Dan Tuohy was called up as a late replacement for Paul O'Connell, who had a chest infection.
And the introduction of Paddy Jackson and Iain Henderson in the second half meant that seven Ulster players boosted their caps collection.
Schmidt, however, is well aware that Scotland were unexceptional opponents, and that the Welsh will provide a much sterner test at the Aviva.
"Huge improvements will be needed next week against a team that's won this championship two years in a row," said stand-in skipper Jamie Heaslip.