Joe Schmidt has added fit-again Will Addison to Ireland’s World Cup training squad. The Irish chose a 44-strong training squad at the end of May to prepare for the finals in Japan.
Addison’s name was missing from that list two months ago as he had eventually underwent back surgery in early April after failing to shake off the injury that has ruled him out of taking part in the Six Nations.
It was reported at the time by Ulster that the expectation was for the player to be fit in time for pre-season training. That prognosis wasn’t enough to gain him inclusion in the original Irish RWC training squad, but he now made it back with preparations stepping up a notch.
Following an initial two-week window at their usual Carton House training base, Ireland are now on the road, training in Galway this week and moving onto Limerick next week.
Signed by Ulster last summer from Sale, Addison quickly forced his way into the Irish set-up and he featured in three of Ireland’s four November matches, including an 11th-hour start in midfield against Argentina after Robbie Henshaw pulled up lame in the warm-up.
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His flexibility in the back line would be seen as an asset as Schmidt formulates his plans for Japan. Addison’s lay-off left the New Zealander selecting uncapped Mike Haley in the training squad, a selection that was a surprise as the former Sale player hadn’t consistently impressed with Munster this last season.
Addison’s addition was a welcome development for the Irish in a week where it was revealed that talisman Johnny Sexton is currently sidelined and unable to take a full part in training.
Schmidt’s star out-half reportedly dislocated a thumb during the two-week training window that took place at Carton House from June 16 to June 28.
The injury was revised to a sprained thumb when the coach addressed media on Friday and he is expecting Sexton to potentially be back passing the ball when Ireland’s training tour moves on to Limerick next week.
“We would expect he will be passing the ball around by the end of next week and that he will be fully available well before we play Italy. It’s all good news on Johnny,” assured Schmidt.
WATCH: Part one of Operation Jaypan, the two-part RugbyPass documentary series on what the fans can expect at this year’s World Cup finals in Japan
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