Patience called for once more as outside left is left outside again

Thu, Jan 31, 2013, 00:00

ANDREW TRIMBLE:Perhaps it is Andrew Trimble’s fate that when he dropped out of Physics in Queen’s University to study Theology in Belfast Bible College, it was nature’s way of preparing him for a rugby life of stoicism and patience.

This year alone the Ulster and Ireland winger was dropped to the bench for Ireland’s third Test against New Zealand last summer, left out of Ireland’s game against Argentina in the autumn, and over looked this week for the opening match against Wales in the Six Nations Championship.

Uneven pitch

Trimble has 49 caps but there is an uneven pitch to his career that has had him in and out of Ireland teams, even this week after a few months of playing well. Declan Kidney was maybe sent to test him, this week a particularly stern challenge for even the most devout of theologians.

“Groundhog Day,” says Trimble. “What can you do. I don’t want it to be like that. I just want to look at the things I can control and that’s my performance and I can’t worry about anyone else. It’s the coach’s decision.

“I can’t worry about any other guy who is performing well. There’s always other guys performing well and hopefully that will bring the best out of me and then who knows what’s going to happen? I know a lot can change in a small space of time and I sort of hold on to that a little bit. I can just keep performing and see what happens.”

Kidney pointed out this week that if Simon Zebo and Craig Gilroy had been left out of the team, similar questions of why would have been asked, while Munster and Leinster fans who cherish the skill sets of Fergus McFadden, Luke Fitzgerald and replacement Keith Earls are also irked despite understanding the maths of dividing two places by six players.

The coach may have a headache in picking the best of a good lot but the player always pays the price.

“I thought I’d done the right thing,” says Trimble on missing the game against Argentina. “I thought I’d reacted well. I thought I’d performed well in a lot of the Heineken Cup games, couple of the games around Christmas as well. I felt like I was building nicely. . . but I don’t pick the team. I don’t pick the squad.

“All I can do. . . I suppose it takes a lot of pressure off me in a lot of ways. I just go out and try and play well. Maybe if you are frustrated or have a point to prove or if you want to go out there and perform, well to stake a claim for a position, then maybe it will bring the best out of you.

“When there is a lot of competition for places it tends to do that.”

Injury, form a missed tackle or defeat by Wales will change the dynamic, while another part of the hurt is that an Ireland defeat will hurry Trimble towards his start again.

“I think they will be fine,” he says of Zebo and Gilroy. Groundhog day alright.

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