Ulster Rugby confirm Will Addison unavailable as Rugby World Cup standby included on injury list
Ulster Rugby have confirmed a six-strong injury list ahead of this weekend's opening PRO14 match against Ospreys.
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The unfortunate Addison's 'lower limb' injury has been nailed down as a hamstring issue, while he is joined on the sidelines by Marty Moore, Nick Timoney, Robert Baloucoune, Marcel Coetzee and long-term absentee Gareth Milasinovich.
The centre, of course, was recently being talked of as a player likely to be on his way to Japan to replace Robbie Henshaw.
Instead, the 27-year-old will not be in consideration when Ospreys visit Kingspan Stadium on Friday (kick-off 7.35pm) as his long-lasting injury woes continue.
Addison played no part in Ulster's final pre-season friendly two weekends ago in the defeat at Glasgow Warriors when he was stood down from the starting side due to what was believed to be a precaution in case Henshaw's injury required the Leinster player to drop out of Joe Schmidt's squad.
The Cumbrian native had, last month, played a prominent part in Ireland's penultimate World Cup warm-up match when beating Wales in Cardiff, in what was his first game time since togging out for Ulster last January and suffering a back injury in Ireland Six Nations camp.
Even though he didn't make Schmidt's final cut - lack of game time always ultimately making it too long a shot for the Ireland coach - the utility back stayed on in the World Cup camp along with Ulster team-mate Jordi Murphy and Connacht's Kieran Marmion, who were also left out of the 31-man party.
All had seemed set fair for Addison to finally put an Ulster shirt on again - while remaining on Schmidt's list of possible emergency call-ups for Japan - but, instead, he is facing more time in the treatment room.
Back-rower Nick Timoney picked up a nasty hand injury in Glasgow, which forced him off the field, and he joins Marcell Coetzee as unfit to play. South African Coetzee suffered an ankle injury in his country's win over Argentina last month, thought to be out for 12 weeks.
Tighthead prop Marty Moore (calf) is another who is not in a position to play and, with new signing Milasinovich gone for most of the season, Ulster have lined-up a short-term cover signing for the two-game trip to South Africa which follows after Friday night's opener with the Ospreys.
Wing Robert Baloucoune is also out with an ankle issue.
Head Coach Dan McFarland has called on his men to play intelligently to get the all-important result on Friday, when ex-Ulster assistant coach Allen Clarke brings the Ospreys to Belfast.
"We'll have to be smart," added McFarland. "The Ospreys kick more than any other team so the aerial battle is really important. They had the highest tackle percentage in the league last year and an excellent defence.
"They scored two maul tries against Edinburgh (in a friendly) and we conceded three in Glasgow.
"So it doesn't take a rocket scientist to tell what they will be hoping to do."