A WILL & A WAY INTO IR­ISH SIDE

Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - Pet Talk - BY ORLA BAN­NON

WILL AD­DI­SON in­sists he has got ex­actly what he wanted af­ter turn­ing his back on Eng­land for a new ad­ven­ture with Ulster and Ire­land.

The 26-year-old, who hails from the Lake Dis­trict, is Ir­ish qual­i­fied thanks to his mother, who was born in Fer­managh.

He al­most moved to Mun­ster two years ago as Ire­land head coach Joe Sch­midt (inset) made a first at­tempt to blood him into the Ir­ish sys­tem.

In the end, he turned it down to cap­tain Sale Sharks, ex­plain­ing: “At any time in your ca­reer you have to do what feels right.

“At that mo­ment it was to cap­tain Sale, the club I loved, and en­joy that.

“I had a cou­ple of con­ver­sa­tions with (Eng­land coach)

Ed­die Jones and by hav­ing those con­ver­sa­tions with the top men you know you’re in the mix.

“I know my­self that if I’m play­ing well and I’m fit, I’d be close to gain­ing those hon­ours but there was never a point where I was get­ting into a squad – I was al­ways touch and go.

“Where I’d got to with Ulster back in April, when I chat­ted to Dwayne Peel, was it felt like the right time for a change.”

Ulster as­sis­tant coach Peel played with Ad­di­son at Sale, but it was another for­mer Sale scrumhalf – Ire­land's Cil­lian Wil­lis – who was the first to flag it up that Ad­di­son was Ir­ish qual­i­fied.

And with the res­i­dency rule now stretched out from three to five years, Ire­land have been quick to scour other na­tions for Ir­ishqual­i­fied play­ers.

Al­ready this sea­son English-born trio Ad­di­son, his new Ulster team-mate

Billy Burns and Mun­ster's Mike Ha­ley have been blooded into the Ir­ish sys­tem with in­ter­na­tional hon­ours beck­on­ing.

Ad­di­son trained with the Ir­ish squad in Melbourne over the sum­mer and it won't be long be­fore he pulls on a green shirt.

In the mean­time though, he wants to build on the good start he's made at Ulster, scor­ing his first try in last week's Pro14 win over Ed­in­burgh.

“I’ve come to another club with great coaches and great play­ers and it’s pushed me on again, which is ex­actly what I wanted out of the move.”

Ulster are on a 10-day trip to South Africa and play the South­ern Kings to­day in Port El­iz­a­beth be­fore another Pro14 clash with the Chee­tahs on Fri­day.

GIB HIM A BREAK Jami­son Gib­son-Parktakes the fight to Drag­ons for Le­in­ster at the RDS yes­ter­day

IM­PACT: Ulster new boy Will Ad­di­son

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