Discarded Ireland wing Andrew Trimble gets a chance to show what he is made off as Ulster’s quest for Guinness Pro12 success begins in earnest at the Kingspan Stadium this evening when Ospreys are the visitors.
Ulster’s interim head coach Neil Doak is only too glad to toss Trimble into the opening stanza of the new season while injuries linger in key positions.
With Ian Humphreys and new boy Sam Windsor sidelined, Doak has tossed the coin and gambles on giving Peter Nelson his first game at this level in the fly-half role.
Nelson, usually a full-back or wing, gets the nod ahead of international Luke Marshall who was also mooted to wear the number 10 jersey. Marshall will partner Stuart McCloskey in midfield with Craig Gilroy on the other wing.
Up front, Doak had good news about Roger Wilson who has come through protocols to take his place at blindside, while Nick Williams is at number eight following his return from suspension. Willie Faloon gets his big chance at openside after his return from a spell with Connacht.
One man looking to impress is big centre McCloskey who has suffered injuries the past two seasons. He is no shrinking violet at 16-plus stone and says he wants to play for Ireland.
“It’s hard to know what the next six games will bring with a lot of teams hit with World Cup call-ups. We will know soon enough, and tonight will be a benchmark. Certainly, I can see a lot of young guys starting to step up with the more experienced players away,” said McCloskey who has high ambitions to wear the green jersey at a higher level after a few runs with Emerging Ireland.
“My main aim is to lock down one of the midfield positions and kick on from there. Hopefully, I can get to full international level at some stage.”
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