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We will be ready for backlash from Springboks, insists Andrew Trimble

By Ruaidhri O'Connor

Published 14/06/2016

Trench warfare: Andrew Trimble won
valuable experience against ‘Boks
Trench warfare: Andrew Trimble won valuable experience against ‘Boks

Trust Joe Schmidt to think of everything. At some point in the build-up to Saturday's opening Test, the head coach gathered his wingers and talked them through the forwards' roles.

Little did Andrew Trimble know, he'd be spending almost an hour of the first Test against the Springboks packing down as blindside flanker.

Keith Earls may have seemed like a more obvious choice given his father Ger was a Munster openside and the Moyross flier often jumps in there when his province are down a man.

But perhaps Trimble's physique lends itself better to clashing with Duane Vermeulen at close quarters while keeping a prop in position and, so, it was the Ulster winger who was sent into the trenches and it went pretty well considering even taking the credit when Ireland won a crucial scrum penalty during the second-half.

"We did, yes," he said with a smile. "Reddser (Eoin Reddan) was giving me a hard time after. All the clueless backs like myself come running in saying 'well done, boys!' I was taking the credit! "Like I had anything to do with it all. Yeah, happy days.

"I've a small bit of pedigree as well with my dad being a terrible flanker! I was keen to get Keith in the scrum when the scrum was on the left - I was more comfortable on the other side of the pitch - but word came from the touchline that I had to make my way across. Believe it or not, we did actually look at the forward's roles at one stage last week. I'm not sure if Joe meant it seriously but even if he meant it as a little bit of a joke, there's a little bit of seriousness there.

"There was one or two times on our scrums when I was torturing Jamie (Heaslip), trying to find out what I needed to do but it all pretty much fell into place at the end so happy enough.

"I think I'll stick to the day-job for now. It was some experience, right enough, but I think I'd rather leave it there."

And Trimble knows that Ireland will need to improve in the face of an expected backlash from the 'Boks.

"Obviously when they're hurting a little bit more there's potentially even more of a fear factor for us, because they're fighting for their lives as well. I'm sure they're getting a hard time," he said.

"I'm sure they're going to look at their performance and identify a few areas that they can improve on, and no doubt they'll get that sorted."

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