After a finger injury which ruled him out for three games and a brief cameo as Ulster mascot Sparky Ireland winger Andrew Trimble is looking forward to the Heineken Cup kick off against English champions Leicester.
“I’m just delighted to be back and involved because there is so much competition now with the young guys playing out of their skin. When you are sitting at home watching on TV it’s very frustrating,” said Trimble.
“I’m delighted that I have come back ahead of schedule. I managed to get back in last week and I have kept my place.”
“I had a fractured dislocation. I don’t know exactly what the surgeon did but he fixed it and it feels good and it’s more or less 100 per cent and it is ready to go again.”
Trimble’s comeback was in the win against the Ospreys last Friday although it wasn’t a game for wingers.
“We were 12-0 down in a place like the Liberty Stadium playing against the Ospreys with all their Lions, they are a quality side. It’s a tough place to go 12-0 down and you’re thinking which way is this going to go.
“Then Paddy Jackson steps up and cool as you like slots six in a row which is really good to see and just fills us with confidence to know that he has got our back and is steering the ship in the right direction and something similar this weekend would be nice.
“It was physical and direct and this week could be similar as well, it’s just one of those things that sometimes you just have to roll up your sleeves and do the hard yards, make tackles and hit rucks and sometimes that is what rugby at this level is all about.”
Trimble admits there is extra excitement around the camp during a European week.
“There is a little more of a buzz then there usually is, you could be playing Treviso which is the same fixture in the Rabo but because it’s the Heineken there is more intensity, there is more attention to detail in the video session and there is more homework to be done.”
fullthere is a little more detail in our plays and everything is up a level and it is important to bring that and turn it into intensity on Friday night.”
It will be Ulster’s first Heineken Cup game at the new look Ravenhill.
“I haven’t actually been in the changing room yet apart from when I was dressed as Sparky, I still haven’t seen the new gym so I’m looking forward to getting down, settling in and making the place feel like home and it will be a little bit odd running out from the other end.”
“Over the last few years we have made Ravenhill and the building is starting to reflecting it so it is an exciting place to be at the moment.”
Trimble feels Ulster’s failure to beat Northampton in the group stage at Ravenhill last season came back to haunt them.
“That cost us and in this competition you have to produce six massive performances, a massive performance on the road could be getting a losing bonus point but you have to win your three home games then you have to do whatever else you can elsewhere.”
“We slipped up and took on eye of the ball for a second and Northampton chinned us and it cost us later in the season, we’ll go into this season knowing we can’t afford any slip ups but you have to win your home games.”
“If you don’t build momentum and struggle to get a result early on then you’ll struggle to make something of your campaign.”
Trimble believes Leicester will arrive in Belfast looking revenge for the 41-7 defeat they suffered at Ravenhill in 2011 when the Irish winger scored two of Ulster’s four tries.
“They won’t fancy it but they will want to put a lot of wrongs right, Leicester have a proud rugby history and they are not a side that go on the road and get bonus pointed, that just doesn’t happen to them and they are not used to it and we need to plant that seed in their mind early on Friday night and just remind them how good a side we are.”
“We want to get the balance of having a healthy respect for them but at the same time we want to produce a massive display like we usually do at Ravenhill and if we do that it will be good enough.”
Trimble is fearful of the Tigers Irish threat from full back Niall Morris and backs coach Geordan Murphy.
“I played against Niall for the first time in the pre season game, he’s a quality player and is rated by Joe Schmidt as he has been brought into that squad, Geordan is pulling the strings in the background and he is a very clever operator and I think he’ll try and catch myself and Tommy out in the backs.”
“He is very important for them, he is the one that is pulling the strings and making the decisions for them, he’s very switched on and he knows the way guys react to plays.”
“From my point of view I have to try and anticipate what he is going to throw at us and try to be one step ahead of him but it is very difficult when you have somebody as clever as Geordy in the background.”