Having made just 13 appearances this season, Quinlan has been squeezed out of contention at Leinster due to the midfield presence of Ireland and Lions stars Brian O'Driscoll, Gordon D'Arcy and Shane Horgan.
"You could say I have been fighting the good fight at Leinster for the last couple of seasons," said the 6ft 4in Quinlan, the holder of a Law degree, a Business Studies diploma and a Masters in Criminology.
"I suppose this will be the real test. No coach guarantees you a place but I am going there with a clear understanding that if I play well I have been signed as the first-choice number 12," he added.
Quinlan was named in the Ireland senior squad for next month's two-Test series against Japan, and most recently came on as a second half substitute in the Celtic Cup semi-final against Munster to win his 50th cap in Leinster blue.