Trimble's injury woes continue as Ulster names re-jigged side
ANDREW Trimble's wretched run of ill-fortune continues unabated as a hip strain has ruled the Ireland winger out of Ulster's PRO12 game with the Scarlets in Wales this afternoon.
The 30-year-old, having missed out on World Cup selection after he was able to play only 34 minutes of Ireland's opening warm-up match before having to retire with a foot injury, had to sit out the entire 2014 Six Nations campaign with a similar but more serious knock.
Trimble was then forced to leave the pitch in the final quarter of the opening Pro12 win over the Ospreys last Friday night but, fortunately, he was able to jog off unaided so the indications would suggest that he won't be out of action for too long.
His absence from today's game means that his fellow international Craig Gilroy switches to the right flank with Rory Scholes coming in to occupy the left wing berth.
Gilroy, like Trimble, missed out on a place in the 31-man Ireland squad, having failed to nail down a starting place in any of the build up matches which was a source of disappointment but he remains pragmatic about the situation.
However with the Coleraine man now on the treatment table once again, there's a chance that Gilroy could move up the pecking order in the event of an injury ruling out one of the other wingers in Joe Schmidt's squad.
"I was disappointed not to be involved, not to given the opportunity to put my hand up for selection." he said. "But the eight or nine weeks when I was down in camp was invaluable and I really came on as a player.
"Now I will just try and stay fit and get a sort roll of form going and if the chance comes to go (to the World Cup) I will be ready for it.
"You can't sit and mope and feel down about these things and, as soon as I knew I was back with Ulster, I knew I had to concentrate on that fully.
"I think going into Ospreys game I was feeling really good and (had) a good mindset but it wasn't so much about putting down a marker.
"I was just looking forward to getting back to the Kingspan and playing in front of a home crowd."
Ulster started their campaign with a bonus point win over the Ospreys but Gilroy realizes that there is room for improvement against the Scarlets who fought out a 32-32 draw with Neil Doak's side in the corresponding game last season.
The Welsh region inflicted a first PRO12 home defeat in 20 matches on champions Glasgow last weekend although the Scots were severely depleted due to World Cup call-ups.
"(Against the Ospreys) there was lot of kick tennis and stuff and there wasn't a lot of time for us to show what we could do in attack and there wasn't a lot of running rugby." Gilroy added.
"We will change a few things but we never change things too drastically; it's a huge opportunity going over there because we obviously have the two week break after the game and mentally it would be massive for us to come away with a win
"We can take a bit of confidence from last year's game and that was actually some of the best passages of play we had last season when we were over there so we'll take a lot from that."
Ulster: Louis Ludik; Craig Gilroy, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Rory Scholes; Peter Nelson, Paul Marshall; Andrew Warwick, Rob Herring (capt), Wiehahn Herbst, Peter Browne, Franco Van der Merwe, Roger Wilson, Willie Faloon, Nick Williams.
Replacements: John Andrew, Callum Black, Ricky Lutton, Robbie Diack, Clive Ross, David Shanahan, Sam Arnold, David Busby.