Rugby World Cup 2011
Trimble unhappy with reserve role
ESPNscrum Staff
September 26, 2011
Ireland's Andrew Trimble receives the plaudits for his try, Ireland v Russia, Rugby World Cup, Rotorua International Stadium, New Zealand, September 25, 2011
Andrew Trimble is congratulated by Donncha O'Callaghan © Getty Images

Andrew Trimble has revealed his lack of opportunities at the World Cup has been hard to accept, but remains determined to break into Ireland's strongest line-up.

Having starred in a losing side throughout last month's warm-up Tests, Trimble was disgruntled at being overlooked for the tournament opener against the United States. Keith Earls currently occupies the left wing spot coveted by Trimble, though Earls could also be moved to fullback with Rob Kearney dropping out of the XV to make room for the Ulsterman.

A strong performance in Sunday's 62-12 victory over Russia has only highlighted Trimble's claim to starting place and the 26-year-old refuses to give up hope of forcing his way in.

"I feel fresh, fast and powerful. I want to show that. I'm very confident in my own ability and what I can do on the pitch," he said. "I have to prove that and the only way to do that is to get my hands on the ball as much as possible.

"I've got to make life difficult for (coach) Declan Kidney and see what happens. Declan knows I'm not happy being on the bench. I don't want to be someone who gets five or 10 minutes at the end of a game.

"If I picked the team I'd pick me, but all I can do is play as well as I can. I've been frustrated not to have been more involved in the World Cup so far. I was really disappointed given the way things went last month not to be involved and get a start.

"That's the way Declan wants it and having that competition for places is what's best for the squad. As much as I was devastated, you have to be genuine and wish all the guys to do the best. You want to see them do well.

"There's a great buzz in the Irish camp at the moment and that's because we have that camaraderie. But whenever I'm on the pitch I'll do everything possible to make sure that place is mine."

Huge numbers of Irish fans - some estimate their number as high as 20,000 - descended on Rotorua for Ireland's easiest Pool C clash to date. The 'Blarney Army', as they have been dubbed, helped create a rousing atmosphere at Rotorua International Stadium that has left Trimble craving more.

"Having a taste of it against Russia - the buzz, the crowd makes me want more. It was some experience and I loved it," he said. "Granted you want to play against a tier one side, but whenever you get a chance to play a World Cup match you take it."

Ireland have spent little time dwelling on their nine-try rout of Russia, a team they were always expected to beat with something to spare. The more pressing assignment is Sunday's clash with Italy in Dunedin where defeat could see them fail to progress to the quarter-finals, despite their historic victory over Australia.

"Italy always looked like being the key game and that hasn't changed," said Trimble. "We know how big Sunday is and how difficult the Italians will be to play. They won't roll over. "We need to be direct and lift our intensity to a level they'll struggle to deal with, keeping the ball in hand for more phases."

Ireland hope to have a clearer picture after training tomorrow over the availability of Paul O'Connell, Tommy Bowe and Gordon D'Arcy to face Italy. Sean O'Brien, Rob Kearney and Keith Earls picked up minor injuries against Russia but have been given the all-clear for selection. match.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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