Andrew Trimble: Shorter Six Nations tournament a big ask

Experienced Ireland star Andrew Trimble has lent his weight to the plethora of indignation that has surrounded plans to condense the Six Nations Championship into five weekends.

Andrew Trimble: Shorter Six Nations tournament a big ask

“I’ve only read bits and pieces, but it would be a big ask,” said the 32-year-old Ulster wing. “The games, the intensity is now through the roof. You get into a lot of politics with player welfare, and but the physicality of those games is so tough, and the intensity is at a level that it would be a big, ask to squeeze it into that window.

“If it works, great! I can definitely see some benefits. But I can just see more injuries. Players missing out, I think it would be tough.”

Trimble warns Ulster will be “hockeyed” if they fail to match Munster’s physicality in next Saturday’s Pro12 clash at Thomond Park.

Trimble believes Ulster need to win their last three games against Munster, Ospreys and Leinster to have any chance of qualifying for the Guinness Pro12 play-offs. And after a disappointing 24-24 draw against Cardiff last weekend, he knows Ulster must produce a big performance in Munster’s seething cauldron of a backyard.

“I think very little needs to be said on weeks like this,” said a fit-again Trimble. “I’ve been down to Thomond Park, I don’t know how many times, and we’ve got a small bit of joy once or twice.

“But generally you go down there and encounter a very physical Munster pack and apretty physical 15 players. It’s an intimidating environment and you have to get yourself ready for it.

“Everybody knows what to expect. If you don’t match that, you’ll be hockeyed out of the gate. We have to produce a big performance to pull it out of the bag.

“It’s three cup finals from here on in. It’s last chance saloon for us. We might as well give it a go.

“Munster may make changes but they have an environment that just enhances the performance of whoever steps up. They have a lot of strength in depth. Whoever it is, is going to produce a big performance and we have to match that.”

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