Andrew Trimble is convinced he can forge a productive partnership with Brian O'Driscoll in Ireland's midfield.
Leinster centre Gordon D'Arcy was ruled out of the rest of the RBS 6 Nations after fracturing a forearm 30 minutes into Saturday's 16-11 victory over Italy.
Trimble was switched from the wing to inside-centre to plug the gap and his physical presence caused the Azzurri problems.
Coach Eddie O'Sullivan must choose between him and Shane Horgan, who played in Ireland A's defeat by England Saxons on Friday, for Saturday's daunting trip to France.
Trimble has been a fixture in Ulster's midfield this season and the 23-year-old is eyeing a first Test start alongside O'Driscoll.
"I loved playing at centre - it was a great opportunity for me," he said.
"You get a bit more ball in hand when you play in the centre.
"It's one channel closer to the scrum and I'd like to think I'm comfortable there.
"We were devastated when Gordon went off but we had to make do with what we had.
"The selection will be made by Eddie and I don't want to get ahead of myself as there are a few options available.
"If it was the case that I was picked then I'd like to think myself and Brian would create a good partnership."
O'Sullivan names his side for the trip to Paris at lunchtime on Tuesday and will review a tape of the Italy game before making a decision.
"One of the options is to bring Andrew into the midfield. He had a good game against Italy," said O'Sullivan.
"Shane Horgan played for Ireland A on Friday so he comes into the mix. He needed a game at that level to help him back from his injury problems.
"You have to factor in Shane's experience when considering selection.
"I haven't yet made up my mind on what the balance will be with Gordon gone."
Whoever O'Sullivan selects at centre, Trimble will be involved against France who made a blistering start to the Six Nations with their 27-6 rout of Scotland.
A repeat of the drudgery produced against Italy will see Ireland brought to heal in Paris and Trimble knows a clinical display will be needed to spring an upset.
"We'll have to up for it against France but that's always the case when we face them," he said.
"They're a great team and extremely difficult to beat. That never changes, no matter how well they played against Scotland.
"If we get quick ball we cause problems and create a lot off opportunities. That's what we must look to do against the French."