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Trimble eager to make his mark

Andrew Trimble hopes JP Pietersen will be only too aware of his name by the end of Saturday's Guinness Series opener between Ireland and South Africa.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday morning, Pietersen stated that Ulster backs Tommy Bowe and David Skrela were the only two players he could name from the Irish backline. Skrela plays fly-half for France and Pietersen was instead referring to Trimble, a winger he could line-up opposite at Lansdowne Road.

"David Skrela? That's an usual one! You want to get as much respect out of opposition teams as possible," Trimble said. "The only way you do that is if you beat them. I'll have to make sure he knows my name by the end of the match!"

He added: "It's not something I'd use for motivation, I'm not going to suddenly think 'he doesn't know my name, I'll make him pay'. It was probably only a mistake. I'm guessing we watch a lot more of the Rugby Championship than they do the Six Nations."

Both teams' plans for the autumn have been heavily disrupted by injury, with Ireland losing Brian O'Driscoll, Sean O'Brien, Rob Kearney and Rory Best for all three matches.

Stephen Ferris will miss South Africa and Fiji at Thomond Park on Saturday week and because of his ankle injury remains a doubt for the finale against Argentina, when critical IRB ranking points will be at stake.

Ireland have won three of their last four matches against South Africa and only went down by two points at Aviva Stadium two years ago, but they enter Saturday's clash on the back of four successive defeats, the most recent of which was a 60-0 rout by New Zealand in Hamilton.

A week earlier, the second game of the three-Test series saw Ireland edged 22-19 before the All Blacks went on to secure a whitewash.

"It was a massive disappointment after the tour. It's not a tour that any one of us is proud to have been on," Trimble said. "There's frustration at getting beaten so badly. It's a long time waiting to put things right.

"It's not a performance we're proud of and it's something we want to put right. It can go one of two ways. You can dwell on it and divert down a bad path or you can bounce back from it. Hopefully we can bounce back."


From Belfast Telegraph