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Sale statement: The signing of ex-Ireland full-back Will Addison

By Liam Heagney
Ulster's Will Addison is on the move back to Sale (Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Gallagher Premiership semi-finalists Sale have confirmed their signing of Will Addison, the former Ireland international, from Ulster.


It was in mid-February when RugbyPass exclusively reported that the Sharks were poised to snap up their ex-full-back, who swapped Manchester for Belfast in the summer of 2018.

Addison went on to be capped four times by Ireland but with Ulster opting not to offer a new contract, he will now return to Sale on a one-year deal.

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A club website statement read: “Sale have agreed a deal to re-sign former captain Will Addison almost six years after the versatile back left to join Ulster.

“The 31-year-old, who can play centre, on the wing, or full-back, has signed a one-year deal with an option for a further year to re-join Sharks at the end of the current season. Cumbrian Will came through the Sharks academy and played more than 100 games for the club in his first stint.

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“He was named Sharks captain ahead of the 2017/18 season but then left in June 2018 to follow his dream of playing international rugby for Ireland.

“A series of serious injuries since have restricted him to just four Test appearances in the famous green shirt but now fit again, he has made 16 appearances this season for Ulster including two in the Champions Cup.”


Addison said: “It was really tough to leave Sale, but I did it for the right reasons and I have loved my time in Ulster. I played international rugby for Ireland and that was a huge dream of mine.

“But I have remained a big Sale supporter and I have loved watching the club going from strength to strength in the last couple of years.

“Before I left, Simon Orange told me the club was going places and he was right. To see the crowds in the stadium grow and how much emphasis the club have put on building a connection with the north has been fantastic.

“My best friends are still at Sale – Tommy Taylor was my best man and Josh Beaumont was an usher, and I came through the academy with guys like Ross Harrison, Si McIntyre and Sam James. I have also got a young baby and now is the right time for us as a family to move back.


“But I wouldn’t move if I didn’t feel like we had a chance of winning something. There are so many brilliant young players here and I can’t wait to play with them and try and help them develop as much as I can.”

Sharks director of rugby Alex Sanderson added: “Will has a big reputation to live up to because reports on his ability and the kind of bloke he was when he was here before reached me before I watched him and spoke to him.

“Most of the staff here have already worked with him, and they tell me he is one of the most gifted players they have worked with and one of the best people they have worked with. That is reason enough to open the doors again and bring him back into the fold.

“On top of that, he is now proving himself to be robust fitness-wise, and he is playing some fantastic rugby, so him wanting to come home is brilliant. He is close friends with guys like Tommy Taylor, Josh Beaumont, and Ross Harrison so we know he will fit in perfectly.

“But it’s not just a fairytale. He wants to come here because of what we are building and what he thinks he can add. It’s great for us to get him and we’re excited to see him play in any of the positions he can play.”


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Mzilikazi 1 hours ago
Is Ireland versus South Africa a battle for the title of ‘world champions’?

Very good article, Nic, and I find agreement with what you write virtually 100%. I think this two mach series has increasingly become one which will be very difficult for Ireland to win. After the first game of the last 6N, I would have been very full of confidence taking on the Boks in SA. France beaten by a big margin in France, it looked as if Ireland had emerged in fine form from the World Cup, despite the very narrow loss to the AB’s. But after that game, a slide began, ending with the defeat to England. Ireland were very fortunate to win this years 6N ! And as you so fully expose, this has not been a good season for Leinster, or indeed, in my view, for any Irish province. The Leinster loos to the Bulls, and then Munster letting a glorious chance slip to the Glasgow Warriors down at Thomond. Man, that one will really hurt. And both Connacht and Ulster have at times looked very poor this seaso, bith heavily beaten on occassion. The loss of both Gibson Park and Keenan are huge blows, especially Gibson Park. And there is really only one clear class 10 in the touring party, Jack Crowley, and he is still a very young player learning his trade. If he goes down, heaven help Ireland. And in my view, Ireland do not have a good scrummaging front row, SA do, and in great depth too. But despite all this doom and gloom, I always believe my team can win. Not that they will win, just can ! Ireland will still field what is the best and most talented team overall that I have seen in my lifetime. But the coaching group will really have to step up, no awful decisions like the one made against the AB’s in the QF….keeping the totally spent and poorly performing(on the day) Sexton on for the full 80mins, leaving Crowley on the sidelines. Ireland should never have lost that game !

59 Go to comments
Shaylen 4 hours ago
Is Ireland versus South Africa a battle for the title of ‘world champions’?

Ireland have all the tools required to hurt SA. They develop quick ball, hold onto the ball for long periods, stretch the game when its on, have powerful mobile forwards, a good kicking game and they can hold their own in the scrum. They also can force turnovers regularly and in general do well at the breakdown. When Munster, the Ospreys and Glasgow all won games in SA this year against the Bulls and Stormers they did just that and won. It is also the reason why Ireland won the game at the world cup last year. The problem for Ireland is that SA have all the tools required to hurt them as well and hurt them a great deal more than England did in the Six Nations. They are physical and powerful at the set piece, they rush up and counter the Irish attacking system and they can really attack the breakdown and slow your ball down. Their counterattacking threat is also a big weapon and they score many tries from turnover turning defence into offence in a second. Toulouse and the Bulls nailed Leinster in this way and Glasgow did the same thing to Munster. So the series will be really interesting because both sides are so good at countering each other. Interested to see what kind of surprises Tony Brown springs and how the SA game develops. Feel like SA have more potential to surprise Ireland but then a new coaching set up as well as the fact that Japanese and foreign based players tend to take about 5 to 6 weeks to get up to speed might work in Irelands favour. SA have shipped at least one game in 4 of the last 5 June/July test windows going back to 2018 for this exact reason.

59 Go to comments
Flankly 6 hours ago
'Let them keep talking' - Mike Catt claps back over Bok remarks

The comments were reported weirdly. De Allende did say it would be war, but he said it amidst comments like “Ireland play such good footy”, and “they are so good at the breakdown”. He said that the Boks lost heavily to Ireland a few years back and that they felt the Irish press was dismissive of the Boks. I don’t recall that, but I suppose it is true, and that SA players would want to turn around that sentiment. The RWC loss to Ireland would naturally pour fuel on the fire. In short, it is a natural thing for passionate players like him to feel very strongly about the goal of registering a convincing series win against Ireland. There is really nothing to see here. As an aside, the SA team shouldn’t be too self-righteous about this kind of a situation. Recall that in 2004, after SA won the Ireland series in SA, Jake White noted that no more than two Irish players were good enough for selection in his Bok side. "Considering the facts, I think only two of their players would be included in the Bok team - O'Driscoll (centre) and maybe one of the locks. How could we have lost against the Irish?" O’Driscoll disagreed and said that it was close, and Ireland were just tired. My Irish friends were pretty incensed by the comments, quite rightly. And I am sure it was part of the energy that drove them to some famous wins against the Boks. The Etzebeth thing was a little different. I think he was just not hearing what was being said. It is not that unusual for someone to say “We will see you in the final”. Of course it is a statement of confidence, which every team should have, but it is also a compliment. I think there was a cultural fly-by, in which a “see you soon” comment was taken to mean “we will beat you again”. But it was a good story, and a convenient clickbaity headline. I don’t think anyone is intentionally trying to rile up anything. But if you interview a Bok player and prod them about their passion wrt the Ireland tour, you are likely to hear some pretty heartfelt words. And so you should.

21 Go to comments
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