Cruel setback for Ulster's Will Addison as he's ruled out for several months

Meanwhile, Tom O’Toole has been sidelined for several weeks with an ankle issue.

ULSTER FULLBACK WILL Addison will be sidelined for several months after undergoing surgery on his back.

The Ireland international hadn’t featured in rugby’s restart in recent weeks due to the back injury and after suffering a fresh setback with his rehabilitation, he was forced to undergo a procedure recently.

The ongoing absence of Addison is a big blow for Ulster and Ireland, with the versatile 28-year-old offering a creative option at fullback or outside centre for both.

irelands-will-addison Addison has won four caps for Ireland so far. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell had hoped to involve Addison in his plans during the Six Nations earlier this year, but the Ulsterman was struggling with a calf injury at the time.

Addison missed out on making Ireland’s World Cup squad last year under Joe Schmidt after similar troubles with the calf issue.

The latest setback is a cruel one for Addison, who joined Ulster from Sale Sharks in 2018 and has won four Test caps so far.

Meanwhile, Farrell has another injury concern with 21-year-old tighthead prop Tom O’Toole ruled out for “several weeks” by Ulster due to the ankle injury that kept him out of the province’s Champions Cup quarter-final defeat to Toulouse.

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O’Toole is uncapped by Ireland but was part of the Six Nations squad earlier this year. Ireland’s first-choice tighthead prop, Tadhg Furlong, is also currently sidelined with a calf issue.

Ulster have also confirmed that out-half Billy Burns [calf] and centre Stuart McCloskey [elbow] are unavailable for Friday night’s Pro14 opener against Benetton at Kingspan Stadium. Both were injured during the defeat to Toulouse.

Fullback Ethan McIlroy has been sidelined with an ankle injury, hooker Tom Stewart has a hamstring injury, and loosehead prop Kyle McCall sustained a concussion in last weekend’s A inter-provincial win over Leinster.

Luke Marshall [hip], Angus Curtis [knee], Andrew Warwick [hip], and Robert Baloucoune [hamstring] all remain on the injury list.

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Murray Kinsella

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