Baz & Andrew's House of Rugby - Chris Henry joins us for Trimby's 'This is Your Life'
"It was a real nice touch."
With the rugby season in Ireland, and in the Guinness PRO14, due to return on the August 22-23 weekend, Barry Murphy and Andrew Trimble will be taking a break between seasons of House of Rugby.
Taking the show into that July break, the former Ireland internationals are taking turns to interview each other on their respective rugby careers, as well as life after hanging up their respective boots.
First up was Trimble, who played over 290 games in his career for Ulster and Ireland. Week 14 of remote recording for Baz & Andrew's House of Rugby saw Trimble and Murphy joined for the career retrospective by another former Ulster and Ireland star - Chris Henry.
Trimble was 20 when he made his senior debut for Ulster. He would go on to win the Celtic League with his home province in his first full season, during which he got to play with a few of his rugby heroes.
"I loved David Humphreys growing up," Trimble recently recalled. "I’d played for Irish Schools in Upper Sixth and a my dad got a picture of David Humphreys at my rugby club one night, in a raffle or something.
"A friend of mine sent it off to David Humphreys and he signed it and gave it back to me with the words – ‘Congratulations on your selection for Irish Schools. Look forward to seeing how your rugby career progresses’. And this went up on my wall.
"And then, fast-forward two years, three years and I was playing week-in, week-out with Humph, and it was class. A class experience."
Before that league success, though, Trimble was already lining out for Ireland in the 2005 autumn internationals. With Brian O'Driscoll still recovering from the shoulder injury he sustained on the Lions Tour, Trimble was drafted in by Eddie O'Sullivan to play 13 in midfield beside Gordon D'Arcy.
Humphreys, his idol turned teammate, was invaluable for easing his nerves before his highly anticipated Test debut against Australia. Trimble recalls:
"I remember Humph, before that first game, saying, ‘Try not to be overawed by the occasion and, at some stage, just make sure you look around. The old Lansdowne Road, just packed to the rafters. Just have a look around and just drink it in, enjoy it and just be in the moment’.
"And what a great piece of advice. And I remember, actually, a break in play, just looking around and thinking, ‘This is incredible’. I was just a dream come true. It was amazing."
Ireland and Eddie Jones' Australia battled it out in a tight first half but, inspired by two Drew Mitchell tries, the visitors won the day. In the end, a late Shane Horgan try added a sheen of respectability to the scoreline.
As the final whistle sounded, Trimble was approached by two of the Wallabies' biggest stars and he can still vividly recall how sound they were.
"Lote Tuqiri came over. He was playing 13. He came over and gave me his jersey. I went to give him my jersey and he went, ‘No, no. Your first Test, don’t worry about it’. Gave me his jersey. And then Latham, the fullback, came over and said, ‘Oh first Test? Congratulations’. Really friendly. Real nice fellas. It really added to the moment. It was a real nice touch."
Trimble would go on to score a brace of tries against Romania the following week and add 68 more Test caps over the next 12 years, with the highlights coming with the 2014 Six Nations championship and helping Ireland to beat New Zealand for the first time, in November 2016.
Also discussed on the show:
- Andrew Trimble's early days in rugby and breaking into the Ulster senior squad
- The coaches, teammates and family that helped and supported him along the way
- Getting to the cusp of European glory with Ulster in 2012
- Reviving his Test rugby fortunes under Joe Schmidt
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Catch up on all our episodes from the past two seasons and our interviews with the likes of Conrad Smith, Victor Matfield, Simon Zebo, Sean O'Brien, Drew Mitchell, Jean De Villiers, Finn Russell, Dave Kilcoyne, Mike Brown, Brian O'Driscoll, Tana Umaga and much, much more.