ALAN Bulloch was thrilled to be the centre of attraction yesterday as Glasgow Caledonians headed for Wales in the hope of stepping up their challenge for the Celtic League title.

The Reds take on Ebbw Vale this afternoon - with Bulloch anxious to persuade the Scotland selectors he should wear the dark blue No.13 jersey from the start in next week's Six Nations game with the Welsh at Murrayfield.

Bulloch insisted, however, that international matters would be safely tucked away at the back on his mind at Eugene Cross Park, saying: ''What matters most of all this weekend is helping Caley to earn another important away victory. I will be linking up again with Ian McGeechan and the Scotland squad on Monday, and only then will I be focussing on the Test match.''

Bulloch stressed he had experienced no problems in diverting his attentions back to the Reds in the wake of coming off the bench at Stade de France last weekend.

''Even if I was caught up in any sort of transition, the eight-hour coach trip to South Wales will have brought it home to me that this is Caley-time,'' he grinned.

Bulloch couldn't disguise his anticipation at the prospect of returning to outside centre after a string of appearances at full back for the Reds. He said: ''I have not been picked at 13 for quite a while. It is the position I love, the one I know best, and I am excited at the thought of having a full game there.''

He added: ''We have a very strong team - so strong, in fact, that the likes of Shaun Longstaff can't even get into the squad. Another away win would be wonderful and we do owe Ebbw Vale a beating or two after what they have done to us over the past couple of years.''

Caley coach Richie Dixon stated: ''We want to make sure we maintain our own integrity after the return of the guys from the various Scotland squads.

''Ebbw Vale are fighting for their lives - but it is up to us to perform when it matters.

''Our squad know now that they can win in Wales, but only if their attitude is right.

''The solution is always in our hands down there and it is mental as well as physical. Sure, we have a particularly strong side available - but this game is all about teamwork and not what individuals may or may not achieve.

''Our preparation has been difficult because of the weather If the mood is right, we have a great chance.''

The Ebbw Vale players have their own incentive for claiming the win that would ease their relegation worries.

One of the local steelworks is set to close and club spokesman Ray Harris said: ''Maybe we can provide the locals with the kind of performance that will take their minds off things for a little while.

''We rose to the occasion a few weeks ago when we got the better of Edinburgh Reivers down here and the aim is to achieve the same sort of result.

''We are fully aware, however, that Glasgow have been playing well in Wales and they will come to Eugene Cross Park with some confidence.

''They have paid us the compliment of picking their strongest possible side and we will aspire to contribute to the occasion.''

Ebbw Vale - P Matthews; S John, R Shorney, J Hawker, A Wagstaff; S Connor, R Smith (captain); I Thomas, L Phillips, D Penisini, D Jones, C Billen, N Budgett, T Morris, G Green. Replacements: M Jones, A Phillips, B Morris, A Grabham, G Betts, J Strange, J Williams.

Glasgow Caledonians - G Metcalfe; J Steel, A Bulloch, J McLaren, J Craig; T Hayes, A Nicol (captain), D Hilton, G Bulloch, G McIlwham, S Griffiths, J White, G Simpson, D Macfadyen, J Petrie. Replacements: G Scott, A Watt, C Stewart, R Reid, F Stott, J Stuart, R Shepherd.