Ulster have announced the signing of versatile Sale Sharks skipper Will Addison on a two-year deal starting this summer.
The 25 year-old utility back who as well as his preferred position of centre can slot in at full-back and wing has made over a hundred appearances since his Sharks debut in 2011, scoring a 158 points for the Greater Manchester based-club.
As well as being a big boost to Ulster’s backline resources, Penrith-born Addison who has really impressed in recent seasons, could also add depth to Ireland’s backline as well, as the former England U20 international is Irish-qualified by virtue of his Enniskillen-born mother.
A product of the Sharks’ academy, he shared how leaving the club after nearly ten years had been a tough decision,
“To be honest, it was a really difficult decision to leave Sale after almost a decade playing in their colours. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, especially the last 12 months while I’ve been club captain” he told Ulster’s Official website.
Before citing the opportunity to develop as a player and his international ambitions as reasons for his decision to head to Belfast,
“However, it’s a short career and this represents a great opportunity for me to develop as a player and to experience a new environment. I do have ambitions to play at international level but for me the immediate priority is to work hard and enjoy my rugby at Ulster”.
Ulster’s Operations Director Bryn Cunningham was clearly delighted to have signed the experienced back,
“Will is a really exciting capture for us. He has tremendous leadership qualities and is very well respected within the Aviva Premiership.To earn the role of club captain at such a young age speaks volumes for his character, while his ability to play in a number of positions across the backline is also a major bonus for us”.
Cunningham also explained that the move had been given the thumbs-up by Joe Schmidt,
“It’s a move that has been welcomed by Joe Schmidt and we look forward to seeing how he progresses in the next few seasons”.
While sad to lose such an important figure, Sharks Director of Rugby Steve Diamond wished Addison well,
“It has been a pleasure to work with Will. He has captained the side this season and the enthusiasm and desire he brings will be missed. We all wish him well.”