'Joe Schmidt is a big fan of his' - New Ulster star in the frame for surprise Ireland call-up
Joe Schmidt will soon name his Ireland squad for the November internationals and one of the newest arrivals to these shores could find himself included.
Ulster have had a mixed start to the season but rallied brilliantly to secure a deserved 24-10 victory against Leicester in their opening Champions Cup game last weekend, with summer signing Will Addison again standing out in the backline.
Addison arrived from Sale Sharks and although born in England, qualifies for Ireland through his mother, who is from Fermanagh.
The 26-year-old can play across at the backline at fullback, wing or centre and previously captained Sale before moving to Ulster in pursuit of international rugby.
That opportunity could come as soon as next month, with Addision already on Joe Schmidt's radar having trained with Ireland during the summer tour while on holiday in Australia.
Speaking on The Left Wing, Independent.ie's rugby podcast, Irish Independent rugby reporter Cian Tracey explained why Addison would be a good fit in the Ireland squad if he gets the nod from Schmidt.
"I thought Will Addison was by far the best player on the pitch [against Leicester]," Tracey said.
"He is quality. They look like a very good centre partnership, Addision and McCloskey.
"I think he will be [in the Ireland squad]. He covers a range of positions. Joe Schmidt is a big fan of his from what I hear. He has made a big impression in Ulster. What I liked was when Billy Burns went off, he slotted into out-half and was seamless. We have already seen him play at fullback this season. He was very impressive. He has got great feet. He has a great eye for a break. He gives Ulster that bit of X-Factor."
Luke Fitzgerald added that he thinks Addison could form a very effective centre combination with Stuart McCloskey at Ulster.
"I think the balance is nice," he said.
"I think the offloading part of McCloskey or even the direct running, I always think he plays better when he is thinking 'I'm going to run over you' first. We know he is a lovely offloader. I like that balance between the two between a big guy who has nice hands and a guy who has nice feet, good pace and can pass pre-contact."
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