Helping out in Australia: Ulster bound Will Addison links up with Ireland

Ireland's Head Coach Joe Schmidt
Ireland's Head Coach Joe Schmidt

Ulster’s new centre, Will Addison, is already on the Ireland radar having trained with the squad while they were in Melbourne.

Addison will join Ulster for pre-season training next week but the back joined in Irish training two weeks ago during the build-up to the second Test match.

The 25-year-old played for England’s Under-20s but is Irish-qualified because of his family background.

He can also play full-back or wing although centre is his specialist position.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt is already looking ahead to a new season which will also lead into a World Cup in Japan in October 2019.

Expectations that the Irish will finally get beyond a quarter-final are high on the back of their most successful season to date.

A clean sweep of their November Test series in 2017 was followed by a Grand Slam Six Nations Championship before their recent Test Series success against Australia in their own back yard.

The only loss the Irish have had was the opening Test match in Brisbane leaving them 11 from 12.

“I’m kind of intimidated by the season because how do you repeat that?” said Schmidt.

“It’s tough to go again and with that expectation. We have that expectation of ourselves that we’re going to try to keep working and try to keep improving.

“We have put a couple of things together – good, unusual things – and it is good because it does put a line in the sand, to back things up.

“We don’t want to be one-hit wonders, but while we have earned where we are tonight, in the scale of things, we want to keep growing. It is so fickle, so competitive and I know how quickly it can turn.

“We had Will Addison over here in Melbourne and he is heading to Ulster, so there is a bit of new blood, new talent, new competition coming in.

“He was sharp when he trained with us, we were a few numbers down,” he added.

“With other players to return from injury it is good to hear they are making progress and it keeps the competition levels up.”