Despite being out of action since October, Ireland wing Andrew Trimble is still confident of representing his country at this year's Rugby World Cup.
Trimble has been battling to overcome a toe injury which kept him on the sidelines during Ireland's 2014 end-of-year Tests and this year's Six Nations campaign.
The Ulster stalwart admitted to being relieved when he was named in Ireland coach Joe Schmidt's 45-man training squad but revealed that he never felt in danger of missing the World Cup.
"I'd not quite ever reached the point where I was rushing or thought I was really tight for time," he told the Belfast Telegraph.
"Just the way I was never going to be fit for the end of the season, so to make sure I had that window of four weeks to make sure I was fit for the start of pre-season and then five weeks of that to make sure you're there.
"I always had plenty of time, I just had to make sure I used that time wisely and be in as good a position as I can."
With the squad set to be cut to 31 players before the end of August, Trimble knows that now is the time when he must prove to Schmidt that he has fully recovered from his injury and is ready to show his worth at Test level, especially considering that there's plenty of competition for the wing berths.
"The standard is so high," he added.
"Every single winger in that squad is quality and playing good rugby.
"They're serious athletes and their skills are good so you're looking at them going, where can I get the edge on some of these guys and you're struggling to work it out.
"There's a lot of quality there, there's a lot of quality in Irish rugby at the minute. It's going in an unbelievably good direction at the minute and I want to be a part of that.
"The standard has moved on in the last six or seven months and I haven't been on the pitch so in some ways I've got to play catch-up and try to get in there and try to impress. I've to try to get a jersey on and try to impress."