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Dublin: 17°C Saturday 8 May 2021

Ulster's Addison links up with Ireland's World Cup training squad

The 26-year-old had originally been left out of Joe Schmidt’s panel because of injury.

WILL ADDISON’S AHEAD-OF-SCHEDULE return has catapulted the Ulster man back into Joe Schmidt’s World Cup training squad as Ireland’s preparations for Japan continue.

Addison underwent back surgery in April and was originally left out of Schmidt’s 44-man pre-season panel, but linked up with Ireland in Galway during their third week of World Cup preparations. 

Will Addison Addison is back training with Ireland. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

The 26-year-old, who came into Schmidt’s squad last November to win three Autumn international caps, returned to pre-season training with Ulster at the start of the month and has made good progress in his comeback.

Addison made 11 appearances for Ulster during his debut season at Kingspan Stadium before the back injury, sustained on Ireland duty during the Six Nations, curtailed his involvement as Dan McFarland’s side qualified for the Pro14 semi-finals.

The English-born back came off the bench against Italy in Chicago for his debut cap and then started in Ireland’s midfield against Argentina in Dublin after the late withdrawal of Robbie Henshaw. Addison also started the November win over USA at fullback. 

Addison’s call-up provides Schmidt with further options across the backline and certainly, his versatility may be of value when the Ireland head coach is tasked with whittling down his squad in the coming weeks.

After a two-week block in Carton House, Ireland have spent this week training in Galway, culminating with this morning’s open session for supporters at Connacht’s Sportsground. 

Schmidt’s squad will then move on to Limerick next week, where they will host another open session at Thomond Park on Friday, before gearing up for the first warm-up game against Italy at the Aviva Stadium on 10 August.

After further warm-up games against England and a home-and-away double-header against Wales, Ireland open their World Cup campaign against Scotland on 22 September.

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Ryan Bailey

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