GUINNESS PRO12: Ulster’s Andrew Trimble wants to build on achievement

Andrew Trimble will set a new Ulster appearance record of 190 caps
Andrew Trimble will set a new Ulster appearance record of 190 caps

Andrew Trimble wants to build on becoming Ulster’s most capped player of all time by getting more caps!

The soon to be 32-year-old will make his 190th appearance on Friday night at Kingspan Stadium, Belfast, when Ulster face Benetton Treviso as the Guinness PRO12 returns (kick-off 6.05pm).

Breaking the record held by international centre Paddy Wallace comes for Trimble almost a year after he made his 188th appearance for the club.

That was in last season’s PRO12 when Ulster played Glasgow Warriors and Trimble suffered a toe injury.

It saw him miss the remainder of the season and although he returned in the summer with Ireland the injury jinx hit again and he missed out on a place in Joe Schmidt’s World Cup squad.

Achieving the milestone tonight will make up slightly for the disappointment and Trimble wants to build on it.

“It seems a bit strange getting to 190 now having only played one game for Ulster in the past 12 months,” Trimble told Ulster Rugby.

“My aim is just to build on that now. I want to perform well on Friday night and get momentum.

“We have a long stretch of 12 games and its important that we continue to build performances, both as individuals and as a team and get our season on track.”

Trimble admitted he never thought he would be Ulster’s all time appearance record holder.

“Whenever I started my career I wouldn’t have dreamed that I would get to 190 appearances for Ulster.

“Every game has been unbelievable, especially the matches at Kingspan Stadium on a Friday night.

“Paddy (Wallace) is a guy who I have a massive amount of respect for so overtaking his total means a lot.

“It’s going to be a very special night for me.”

Reflecting on the last 189 caps in a glittering career which started in September 2005 at the Arms Park against Cardiff Blues, Trimble said: “There are a few stand out moments. I will never forget the night that I kicked the ground against Scarlets and fell over and everyone laughed at me!

“For a better reason I will never forget the day that we beat Munster in the quarter-final down at Thomond Park.

“I’ll never forget getting the chance to play in the Heineken Cup Final.

“Obviously, it didn’t go our way but to be part of a team that is building and growing is great. I’m sure that we are on the brink of winning some silverware soon.

“Winning 190 caps is amazing, I’m very proud of that, but we want to win something.”

Trimble is one of several changes to the Ulster line-up from that which suffered a disappointing defeat to Scarlets in Llanelli three weeks ago.

He will start of the right wing in place of Rory Scholes who moves to the bench.

It is the only change in the backline.

Ireland international lock, Dan Tuohy returns to the side and is rotated with Franco van der Merwe who is not in the match day 23.

Sean Reidy and Robbie Diack come into the back row in place of Nick Williams who was unavailable for selection due to personal reasons, and Willie Faloon.

Ulster: Ludik; Trimble, L Marshall, McCloskey, Gilroy; Nelson, P Marshall; Warwick, Herring (capt), Herbst; Browne, Tuohy; Diack, Reidy, Wilson.

Replacements: Paul Jackson, Black, Ross, Stevenson, Ross, Shanahan, Arnold, Scholes.

Benetton Treviso: Hayward; Nitoglia, Iannone, Pratichetti, Ragusi; Christie, Smylie; Zanusso, Santamaria, Harden; Naude, Palmer; Barbini, Budd, Barbieri.

Replacements: Bigi, Alberto De Marchi, Ferrari, Montauriol, Andrea De Marchi, Steyn, Lucchese, Ambrosini