Monday 16 July 2018

Model pro Andrew Trimble has created fine legacy for himself

Andrew Trimble. Photo: Sportsfile
Andrew Trimble. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

And so, Father Time has eventually caught up with the man who never knew when he was beaten.

Andrew Trimble spent the majority of his career bouncing back from setbacks, but he will bring the curtain down on his 13-year professional career at the end of the season.

The winds of change are very much prevalent up north right now, and Trimble's retirement means that come the end of the season, an entire Ulster back line will likely no longer be playing for the club.

Paul Marshall, Paddy Jackson, Trimble, Stuart Olding, Tommy Bowe and Charles Piutau will either have retired or be plying their trade elsewhere, and when you add in the fact that doubts still hang over Jared Payne's future, a considerable amount of experience, not to mention quality, will have exited the stage.

While he might never have received the nationwide adulation that his fellow winger Bowe did, Trimble was an outstanding servant to Ulster and Irish rugby.

The 33-year-old rejected several advances to move abroad in favour of staying loyal, and remaining with his boyhood club.

And 229 Ulster appearances later, as well as 70 Ireland caps, Trimble will bow out on his own terms, and for that he will be grateful.

He may, however, feel that he should have won more in his career. Injury, though, had a big part to play in that, yet the Coleraine winger refused to take no for an answer as he repeatedly proved doubters wrong.

Trimble had only played eight senior games before he made his international debut against Australia in 2005, which it itself is indicative of how highly he was regarded when he first burst on to the scene.

Seventeen tries for Ireland, including two World Cups, another injury and a subsequent lack of game time robbed him of the chance to play at the 2015 tournament, at a time that he was in the form of his life.

After a brilliant 2014 Six Nations, which culminated in him being crowned the IRUPA Player of the Year, Trimble became one of Joe Schmidt's go-to men.

He started Ireland's historic win over the All Blacks, but only managed to win three caps since, before his final game in green against France last year.

"I know that I've been incredibly fortunate to have realised not one of my dreams, but two of them; to play for Ulster and to play for Ireland," Trimble wrote in a poignant statement on Twitter.

"These have been some of the most fulfilling days of my life and I feel nothing but gratitude for them.

"But there's no way of stopping time - and I see that each day in the lives of my two young children, who are now close to beating me over five metres."

His scintillating try in Paris during the 2014 Six Nations campaign remains a stand-out moment from a player who never let his club or country down.

On the back of sheer determination, Trimble has created a fine legacy and if other young players follow his lead, they won't be doing too badly at all.

Irish Independent

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