Tries for Trimble and Bowe as they await Irish call

Andrew Trimble of Ulster scores a try during the pre season friendly rugby match against Edinburgh at Goldenacre
Andrew Trimble of Ulster scores a try during the pre season friendly rugby match against Edinburgh at Goldenacre

Ireland World Cup squad hopefuls, Andrew Trimble and Tommy Bowe scored Ulster’s tries in Friday night’s 23-10 pre-season friendly loss to Edinburgh at Goldenacre.

Bowe scored in the first half before he was replaced for the second half, as planned.

Trimble played the full game as he looked to prove his worth ahead of Ireland coach Joe Schmidt’s final World Cup squad selection to be announced on Monday.

Ireland play Wales this afternoon in Dublin in a warm-up Test match, but Schmidt had said on Thursday that any players released to their Provinces could still be in the final 31-man squad and some of those retained in Dublin may not.

Both Ulster wingers are expected to be part of the final squad, however one could be displaced if Leinster three-quarter Dave Kearney was to give a good audition against Wales in Dublin on Saturday afternoon.

It’s Kearney’s first start in 18 months for Ireland and a strong performance could give Schmidt food for thought.

Kearney, though, will have his hands full, lining up opposite juggernaut Wales wing George North.

“I have faced George a few times,” Kearney said.

“He is one of the best wings in the world, but at the same time it brings out the best in me. You always want to test yourself against the best.”

“You have got to keep him in as tight as you can and not give him much space. He is very fast when he is going, so you can’t afford to give him much space.”

Ireland beat Wales 35-21 in an opening warm-up clash three weeks ago, but both teams are unrecognisable from that game, with Wales showing 12 changes - wing Alex Cuthbert, centre Scott Williams and flanker Justin Tipuric are the solitary starting XV survivors - and Ireland making nine switches.

“This is a great opportunity for me,” added eight times-capped Kearney.

“Joe has been keeping everyone on their toes, and pre-season has been really tough. There has been a lot of gym work, speed work and fitness work - we’ve all been training really hard.

“This is kind of like a fresh start for me, and it is about trying to play well when you get the chance.”