Dan Tuohy returns to action against the Ospreys at Ravenhill on Friday night and the lock has a point to prove.
Tuohy picked up an unfortunate injury in Ulster’s last league game against the Scarlets but he wants to force his way back into the Ireland squad and there is no better platform that to do that with a rampant Ulster side.
“It was a horrendous time injury ways, I aggravated it against the Scarlets and I missed a couple of crucial games against in rounds five and six of the Heineken Cup. I wasn’t the only one injured and it wasn’t a good time for me internationally wise but that is part and parcel of the game,” said Tuohy.
“Playing international rugby is the top of the game and the pinnacle of anyone’s career, I was unhappy during the November series only playing one game and not even being in the squad for the other two.
“I felt I was in good form going into that but I can’t complain about this one because Declan rang me and said you’re injuried but if you play a few games you could be called in.
“I’ll play this weekend and next weekend and then we’ll see where I stand with Ireland after that.”
Tuohy could be a quiz question as he explains his international career to date.
“It was a fonder time being with Ireland in New Zealand last summer. I’ve won five caps and four of them have been against New Zealand and Australia once. I’ve played a few Asian Select XV’s. I want to play at home and not be put at the end of summer tours.
“The Six Nations is a massive ambition for me but it is exciting times at Ulster.
“What is good if you’re not selected for Ireland you come back here and you’re surrounded by real quality.
“We’re playing quality rugby and it is a great tonic if you’re not being selected.”
Tuohy believes this Ulster squad is on the brink of something special.
“We need to kick on in these next four games and get a home semi-final, we don’t mind doing the hard way, we are away in the quarters and ever since I’ve been here we’ve had everything away. That has to change.”