Ulster lock Dan Tuohy is hoping to play his way into Ireland’s squad for the three tests in the autumn against Samoa, Australia and New Zealand.
Tuohy took his international cap tally to seven on the tour to North America and is hungry for more action in the green shirt.
“I was a good tour for me personally, I only played a bit in the America game but it was good tour as I was able to get to know Joe (Schmidt) a little bit, he was out there but wasn’t doing any coaching.
“He watched a lot of sessions and it was good to speak to him a little bit and just to be part of the squad the more time you spend in it the better it is,” said Tuohy.
“All my seven caps have come at the end of season tours which is a bit disappointing so hopefully can play a little bit in the autumn and the Six Nations which would be great.
“ Joe has been positive for me and he has told me what he wants from me going forward as well as Les has and they have been very honest with me and hopefully I can show that over the next four or five weeks leading up to November.”
Tuohy won his first Ireland cap at blindside flanker but admits that experiment is now over and it is just concentrating on the second row.
“I played six years ago, I can play it but I need more time in training to play more at six, I played there last year against Edinburgh and started and at times I felt I was just a passenger in the game and it is just now that comfortable for me.
“I can play it but I’d be weary that I’d become the ideal bench man as I could play two positions or three as I can play in the middle of the line out but the second row is the crux of it.”
“If it came to it and there was an emergency I wouldn’t hesitate to play it.”
Tuohy was disappointed with the result against the Dragons.
“I feel if we had of taken care of the performance the result would have taken care of itself, the performance was poor and the meeting on Monday it was very honest from a lot of players and the coaching staff.”
“We were poor in the final third and not taking our chances and that is not something we are used to because we are a good side that scores a lot of tries, last season we found it easy to score some good attractive tries but these thinks happen.”
“I think we got the referee’s interpretation wrong a number of times, we got a cracking start to last season and it’s disappointing not to repeat that but there are 21 games to go so let’s put it right and hopeful start by winning on Friday.”
Ulster only had two pre season games one against Leinster when they used 29 players and a defeat at Leicester in a more structured game but Tuohy doesn’t feel they were under cooked going into the Dragons.
“With the boys away in North America and the Tbilisi tour they felt it was such a short turnaround they didn’t want to hammer us to hard but we can’t use that as an excuse because the Dragons only had one pre season game against Bath so if anyone was under cooked it should have been them, we just didn’t turn up on the day, didn’t perform and left it to the referee’s interruptions and we have to leave him in no doubt who the better team is and we didn’t.”
“It’s no good using excuses because that sort of scenario is going to come up again this season so the most important thing is we learn from it and make sure we don’t make the same mistakes.”
Tuohy defended out half Paddy Jackson who missed three kicks at goal which would have put Ulster into a commanding half time lead.
“No one around here is pointing the finger , he didn’t have a great day with the boot but our scrum wasn’t great second half and our line out wasn’t great so that is not one person you can point the finger at it’s a collective group of players in terms of the result.”
“We’re not fussed about Paddy missing a couple of goals these things happen, he’s a great character and we know he’ll bounce back.”
Ulster lost eight line outs on their own throw at Leicester and another four against the Dragons but Tuohy is hoping it will function better against Glasgow.
“We talked about the lineout in our forwards meeting on Monday, there were a couple not straight and a couple of calls not getting through and I think it’s just the boys getting a little bit giddy at certain times, I don’t think it’s a massive issue and it wasn’t last season, on the flip side we stole a couple which is an improvement from where we have been, it’s just a little bit of tweaking and we’ll sort it out.”
Ulster played Glasgow four times last season and all were tough battles and Tuohy isn’t expecting anything different on Friday night.
“The most important thing for us is not to back up last week’s lost with another one because back to back defeats could put you eight to 10 points behind the boys at the top.”
“They were all very tight games and you could have thrown a blanket over all four results, they are a quality side not necessarily littered with massive international superstar names but they are cracking side that work hard for each other and are extremely abrasive and it will be a tough one.”