Will Addison joins Ireland training squad as Ulster star's World Cup hopes are bolstered
Ulster utility back Will Addison has joined up with the Ireland training squad in Galway ahead of their move to Limerick next week for the next phase of their World Cup preparation.
Addison's stunning first season at Ulster was cut short when he had surgery on a back injury sustained training with Ireland during the Six Nations.
Initially it was feared the injury would rule him out of the World Cup entirely but his addition is a bonus for Joe Schmidt who will begin trimming back the squad over the next few weeks.
So, too, is it good news for Addison, who once again has a real chance of making the plane to Japan.
"Will Addison joined the squad earlier this week as he ramps up his rehabilitation from the back injury that prematurely ended his season, confirmed an IRFU statement.
Addison impressed after arriving at Ulster in the summer, and had even trained with Ireland prior to first pulling on the white jersey.
He won his first caps in the autumn and made 11 impressive performances for Ulster but has not played since January due to that back injury.
The 26-year-old had been ommitted from Joe Schmidt's original 44-man training panel and only Sean O'Brien and Dan Leavy were name-checked as "unavailable due to injury".
However, when the coach confirmed that players may be added at a later date, hopes were high that Addison would be rewarded for his early season form.
Addison returned to training with Ulster last week with the province confirming he was 'fine'.
While Addison's original omission could be explained by injury, there was uproar amongst the Ulster support when Stuart McCloskey was left out.
The centre was named Ulster's Player of the Year and Supporters' Player of the Year and was included in the PRO14's Dream Team after an outstanding season.
However, experienced centres Bundee Aki, Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose were joined by Chris Farrell and Rory Scannell instead of McCloskey, with Addison now adding to those options.
Belfast Telegraph Digital