Rugby

'Ireland cannot play Will Addison' | Stephen Ferris on Farrell's Irish XV

Amid the clamouring for Will Addison to be given more game-time in an Ireland jersey, former Irish international Stephen Ferris explained why the Ulster back is simply not fit enough to be up for serious consideration on Wednesday's OTB AM

All too aware himself of the frustrations that come with being regularly injured, Stephen Ferris took no pleasure in suggesting that Will Addison is not necessarily deserving of a place in Andy Farrell's Ireland XV.

"He's never fit," remarked Ferris on Wednesday's OTB AM, "how can you play someone who is never fit?"

As recently as Monday's OTB AM, Alan Quinlan, speaking in the immediate aftermath of Ireland's defeat of Wales, explained how he would love to see the Ulster player given a chance by Farrell going forward.

"I don't know why, though," replied Ferris to the suggestion that there are calls for Addison to feature. "For someone who has played so little rugby over the last couple of months to be thrown into an international jersey, it doesn't add up.

"I am a huge fan of Will Addison and I think he has got all the attributes, all the skills and every time he touches the ball he seems to have time and space, but he's never fit."

Will Addison 31 August 2019; Will Addison of Ireland during the Under Armour Summer Series 2019 match between Wales and Ireland. Photo by Sportsfile

From his point of view as a former Ulster and Ireland player, Ferris, who fought his own battles with injury, has a share of sympathy for the former underage English international Addison.

"I would love to see a fully-fit Will Addison," he stated, " but I was chatting to Mark Cueto of the Sale Sharks a couple of years ago; he'd been heavily involved with the Ireland Legends vs England Legends games.

"He was saying to me, 'Will Addison, what an exceptional player! He's absolutely fantastic, you guys have got a real gem coming over to Ireland. However, that's when he's fit, and he's never fit.'

"This was a couple of years ago before he'd signed for Ulster and now we're seeing the same thing.

"I'm not one to preach about injuries because I've had my fair share and was on the sidelines for a helluva lot of my career, but I think he needs a run of games and there's only so long you can say it."

Unquestionably a fan of Will Addison, Stephen Ferris simply does not believe that Andy Farrell could consider the Ulster man for Irish selection as things stand.

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Andy Farrell Ireland Irish Rugby Stephen Ferris Ulster Will Addison

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