Frustration is probably the best word to describe Andrew Trimble’s career over the last year.
Injury cost him the chance to be part of Ireland’s Grand Slam winning side last spring and Trimble also missed the summer tour to North America, opting to go under the knife to try and clear up a knee problem, and he is enjoying his rugby now he’s back to full fitness.
“The knee is really good and I can get through a week’s training now which I couldn’t do this time last year,” said Trimble.
“I’ve got my power and speed back and I’m starting to feel the effects of the operation.”
Trimble missed last week’s defeat at the RDS against Leinster as he was on the national management rest programme but he is relishing the challenge of Munster in tonight’s Magners League clash.
“I think any opportunity to play against another province is always a great experience,” added Trimble
“Munster at Ravenhill, it is just brilliant, especially after the last couple of weeks away from home when haven’t got the results we were after.”
“We have performed in little bits and pieces, but we haven’t got the results we wanted so this is a great opportunity to put things right in front of our home crowd at Ravenhill.”
“I am just looking forward to getting a bit of decent ball and playing a bit of rugby and I think that is the same for all the boys.”
Trimble burst onto the Ulster rugby scene in a blaze of glory combining power and pace with an ability to score tries.
The word about the three quarter was out early; he had dazzled in midfield for his school Coleraine Inst and it was just a matter of whether he could bring that form onto the bigger stage at Provincial level.
An injury to former All Black Paul Steinmetz gave Trimble his debut for Ulster against Cardiff at the Arms Park and he has never looked back.
He crossed the try line 18 times in his first 41 appearances for Ulster and quickly came to the attention of the Irish management.
With only eight Ulster caps to his name Eddie O’Sullivan gave Trimble his first taste of international rugby during the autumn Test series in 2005 when he came off the bench against Australia.
A week later Trimble announced his arrival on the international stage with two tries against Romania.
Tries against France and New Zealand enhanced his reputation and he was part of the 2007 World Cup squad when he scored one try in two outings.
A big performance tonight could put Trimble back in Declan Kidney’s plans for the Six Nations but he also knows with the emerging talent at Ulster he could have a fight on his hand to keep his place.
“I think a year ago you could call Ian Whitten a young guy, but now he is competing to start.”
“He has been unlucky on a few occasions were he hasn’t got more starts, so definitely I wouldn’t refer to him as a young guy anymore.”
“The likes of Jamie Smith and Jonny Shiels, if they get a few more games under their belt, and get a bit of confidence they will be in the same boat and that will be good for the rest of us in the squad and for Ulster Rugby,” added Trimble.