A try against Scotland to crown his first RBS 6 Nations start in two years has winger Andrew Trimble excited for next Saturday’s mouth-watering showdown with defending champions Wales.
But having witnessed the Championship success of the Welsh over the last number of years, he believes there is no reason why this Ireland team cannot emulate their Celtic rivals in winning the Six Nations.
“When you look at that Welsh side there is massive quality, but to compare it to Ireland, we’ve got something similar,” said Andrew Trimble, in the aftermath of yesterday’s 28-6 win over Scotland.
“We’ve got an awful lot of quality and I think we’ve under performed in the last few years.
“The side that beat Scotland is capable of winning Championships, but at the minute, we’ve beaten Scotland, so let’s not talk about Championships. Let’s talk about Wales and I think we’re more than capable of getting a result.”
Trimble’s timely try on the stroke of half-time ended a late period of domination for Ireland which saw stand-in captain Jamie Heaslip narrowly miss out on the opening five-pointer.
However, it could have been a very different story as the Scots laid siege to the Irish 22 for the first half hour of the game.
Trimble commented: “A few phases before (the try) I thought we were starting to go forward. We were cutting their defence, getting round the corner and had a decent shape on us so I was getting pretty excited, just trying to keep calm and get over the line.
“It was a pretty important score because I think it took 28 or 30 minutes for us to get into the game and then we did. We took them through phases and we wore them down up front. It was pretty important to get over the line and get that boost we needed.”
Trimble has touched down in his last two outings for Ireland, including last June’s tour victory over Canada, and is now 12th on the list of all-time Irish top try scorers with 13 tries.
A ‘professional’ second half helped Ireland to grind down the Scottish defence, with Trimble eager to put the squeeze on the Scots after they came back to win 12-8 in the sides’ meeting at Murrayfield last year.
But the in-form Ulsterman, who now has 51 Ireland caps, concedes a step up in intensity will be needed for the visit of Warren Gatland’s Wales.
“We’re talking about the physicality of Scotland backs, (but) the Welsh backs, the wingers are enormous, massive leg drive, really powerful.
“I think that’s going to be a big ask. With the six-day turnaround we just have to make sure we do plenty of homework and find ways to bring them down.”
Trimble was honest enough to admit he has not been too keen on hearing some of Joe Schmidt’s feedback on his game, but agrees that the head coach’s analysis and reviews get the best out of him.
Having started against England Saxons last weekend, he may not have expected to start against Scotland but he is ready to don the green jersey if called upon against Wales.
“I didn’t expect to be starting last week and when he read out my name I was surprised giving the way training had gone, in and out a bit,” explained the 29-year-old.
“The lesson I learned is to not read too much into anything. Just train as well as you can, be as accurate as you can, work hard and see what happens.”