Wednesday 17 January 2018

After hammering on door, Trimble is desperate to shine

Andrew Trimble
Andrew Trimble
David Kelly

David Kelly

If anyone could claim to be distressed by the foibles of national team selection in recent times, then Andrew Trimble is that man.

Not since Jack Nicholson was marauding through a snowbound hotel in 'The Shining' has someone hammered on doors so relentlessly. "Just banging on the door to get starts," the Coleraine man confirms.

This is probably a rare week when his name was unanimously proffered to start what will be the 31st of his 42 Tests; life after BOD has provided some certainty after all.

Not that Trimble was presumptuous. Nevertheless, his reaction to the team meeting on Tuesday evening, when his name was called out, was distinctly cool and calculated.

"I went to celebrate by having a golf lesson," he smiles. Now, he is desperate to become a regular starter.

"I know I want that time to come," he stresses. "More and more in the last couple of years I've been cautiously confident. I'm looking forward to selection but with fingers crossed.

"The only way I can make that time come where I'm massively confident going into a selection meeting of being picked is to produce a big performance on Sunday, get picked and produce another big performance and have a massive Six Nations campaign.

"For me the first step of that is having a big one on Sunday."

His recent form, particularly in Ulster's second successive march to the business end of the Heineken Cup, would seem to indicate that he is capable of backing up words with deeds.

Except, the bar is always rising.

"I'm certainly very pleased with how I'm playing at the minute but I definitely want to kick on with better performances," he said.

"I don't want to look back and say I was playing better a few years ago, but I think I did produce big performances in the past. It's just because I've produced a couple in a row now. I'm certainly pleased with how I'm performing."

He hasn't always been suffused with faith in his own ability, which is perhaps why international coaches haven't always trusted him to deliver. Slowly, that mindset has been transformed.

"I just want to get into the game and get my hands on the ball and just run hard at people, look to find holes -- and that's worked quite well for me so far.

"That comes with experience. Sometimes it's quite difficult and with the new set-up I want to make sure I can transfer that involvement with Ulster onto the pitch with Ireland as well.

"I've got confidence from Ulster which is huge. For me, it's important to get to the point sometimes, even if you're not playing well, that you still convince yourself to be confident.

"You have to play those mind games with yourself in a positive way.

"Just tell yourself you're great. I know that's the way Leinster boys do it."

Irish Independent

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