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Lower leg fracture set to rule Ulster's Addison out for lengthy period

Addison was stretchered off in the 46th minute of Ulster’s victory at Kingspan Stadium last Friday.

Will Addison suffered the injury in Friday night's game.
Will Addison suffered the injury in Friday night's game.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

WILL ADDISON IS set for a lengthy period on the sidelines after Ulster head coach Dan McFarland confirmed the Ireland full-back has suffered a lower leg fracture in their win over the Emirates Lions.

Addison was stretchered off in the 46th minute of Ulster’s victory at Kingspan Stadium last Friday after being caught in a double tackle which saw his leg twisted awkwardly, leaving him stricken on the turf and needing treatment.

It’s another brutal blow for the mercurial back who, when fit, is a silky runner and offensive creator in both the Ulster and Ireland back-line, however injuries have made his appearances few and far between.

Although he had featured in all four of Ulster’s URC games to start of the season, the 29-year-old has only been involved in 26 games in the four years he has been with the province, and was limited to just three appearances in the 2020-21 season.

The five-times capped full-back, who can also play centre, was included in an Irish training squad over the summer by head coach Andy Farrell, but this injury ends any hope of him being involved in the Autumn Internationals and could jeopardise his chances of playing any part in the Six Nations too.

“Will has got a fracture to his lower leg. He had surgery yesterday in the Royal Victoria Hospital to stabilise that fracture. The surgery went well and he’s recuperating,” explained McFarland, who refused to put an exact time scale on the back’s return.

There was better news for Farrell, though, as McFarland also revealed that club captain Iain Henderson is close to making a return after he underwent hand surgery upon his return from the British and Irish Lions tour over the summer.

The second row, who didn’t play in any of the Lions’ Test matches in South Africa, would have been ineligible to play in Ulster’s first few games anyway as part of the reintegration process for Lions returnees, so went for the operation before the start of the season.

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While it is unlikely Henderson will feature in Saturday’s URC game against Connacht at the Aviva Stadium, McFarland has at least opened the door to the possibility that the 29-year-old could be ready for the Autumn Internationals.

“We will see how he progresses. He’s close,” said the head coach.

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