With back-to-back Six Nations titles to his name over the last two seasons, second guessing Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt is often a largely fruitless exercise but it is hard to argue with what a fully-fit Andrew Trimble could have brought to his squad.
Only the medical staffs of Ireland and Ulster will know just how well he has recovered from the troublesome foot ailment that has plagued his last nine months, and presumably the national selectors decided that they just couldn't take a risk, but when firing on all cylinders Trimble brings something different to proceedings when compared to the selected back-three options.
Thinking back to the Six Nations victory of 2014, Trimble was superb - rightfully awarded Ireland Player of the Year off the back of his tournament success - and in the championship-clinching win against the French in Paris, his intervention was critical.
Taking an inside pass from Conor Murray, the 58-times capped Coleraine man burst through the line for a try in the 22-20 win, and his willingness to utilise his physicality when coming off his wing is something that few in his position can provide.
Trimble was absent through injury when Ireland retained their crown but in the defeat to Wales at the Millennium, as the visitors were continually repelled, one couldn't help but wonder if the differing style of Trimble could have made the difference.
Having experienced a wealth of ups and down at international level - after falling out of favour with Declan Kidney back in 2012 it appeared at the time that he may never earn his 50th cap - Trimble has endured similar disappointments before and, given the favour in which Schmidt (pictured) clearly still holds him, it would be premature to rule out the possibility of him appearing in the World Cup.
Similar to prop Marty Moore - another who would be there if not for an untimely injury - the coming weeks will be a chance to show that he is ready and waiting.
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