Injury blow for Ulster’s Will Addison
Ulster will be without Will Addison for a period of time after coach Dan McFarland revealed the full back fractured his leg in last Friday night’s bonus point win over the Emirate Lions at Kingspan Stadium.
Capped five times by Ireland Addison’s Ulster career has been plagued by injury since signing from the Sale Sharks in 2018.
The 29-year-old has made only 26 appearances in four seasons for the province. He had started Ulster’s last three games but was involved in a nasty collusion in the 45th minute of the Lions game which resulted in him being stretched off with McFarland confirmed the extend of the injury.
“Will has got a fracture to his lower leg, he had surgery on Sunday in the Royal Victoria Hospital to stabilise that fracture, it went well, and he is recuperating,” explained McFarland.
The coach was reluctant to put any time scale on Addison’s return to action.
“It is way too early to say at the moment,” he said
“We will keep him involved, we’ve a really good rehabilitation team here and that is linked very closely to the rugby guys. The lads that they work with are there to support them too.
“These processes are always difficult. Luke Marshall is going through that process at the moment, and we have Luke integrally involved in things here and that’s how we do it.”
Ulster are the only side in the United Rugby Championship with a maximum 20 points from the opening four games but face a real test of their title credentials against Connacht in their first Interpro clash of the season.
Connacht have given up home advantage at the Sportsground and the match will now be played at the Aviva Stadium.
“Remember what happened the last time we played Connacht in the Aviva we were terrible,”said McFarland. “I’d rather play them at the Sportsground I think because the last time we played there we played really well.
“Giving up home advantage the Aviva is a really great place to play and their players will be really excited go there. There will be fans in the stadium this time there wasn’t the last time we played them.
“I love Galway, I would have loved to gone down there and played as well but it is their decision.
McFarland was surprised that Connacht pushed Munster all the way in Limerick on Saturday before losing by two points.
“I knew it was going to be abrasive, particularly in the weather,” he said.
“I thought both teams used the conditions really well, testing the back-threes.
“They were very physical on the gain line as you would expect in a derby, Connacht did really well getting across the gain line.
“They’ve been doing that well over the last couple of years under Andy, that’s something I was expecting to see and I’m sure I’ll see this weekend too.”
McFarland hopes Ulster’s strong start to the season will be reflected in Andy Farrell’s Ireland squad for the autumn internationals which is due to be named tomorrow.
“Look, we’ve a lot of guys playing good rugby, Nick (Timoney) has been playing really well, Rob (Baloucoune) has had a bit of an injury but he’s fit and ready for selection now,” he said.
“Stu McCloskey, he’s had a bit of an injury but he should be back in the reckoning for the autumn.
“James Hume is consistent and playing really well. That’s just to name a few without even talking about Hendy and Rob. We’d be hopeful that a few of those guys will get some Ireland recognition.”