Paddy Wallace insists there will be no hard feelings should Gordon D'Arcy be preferred at No.12 instead of him for Ireland's RBS 6 Nations opener against Italy.
Ulsterman Wallace made two starts at inside centre alongside Brian O’Driscoll to D’Arcy’s one during the autumn internationals against Australia, Fiji and world champions South Africa.
However an ankle injury picked up during the historic 15-10 win against the Springboks has seen Wallace’s game time for Ulster limited ever since.
Meanwhile D’Arcy has gone from strength to strength for Leinster in the Magners League and Heineken Cup – and Wallace conceded he may have the upper hand.
“There is competition between Gordon and myself to play alongside Brian and I think it is great that both of us are competing against each other,” said Wallace.
“Gordon has been playing some great rugby as of late and is really in exceptional form at the right time with the Six Nations close, all while I am trying to shake off an injury.
“I have grown up with Gordon through the Ireland system and we know each other well – we both want the best for each and both congratulate each other when we have done well.”