Will Addison has 'huge ambitions' for Ulster and Ireland after arrival from Sale

Former Ireland centre Jared Payne is now part of the Ulster coaching team
Former Ireland centre Jared Payne is now part of the Ulster coaching team

New Ulster signing Will Addison has revealed his ambition to play for Ireland after his switch from Sale.

The utility back trained with the Irish squad in June while holidaying in Australia but he is hungry for more.

Addison and fly-half Billy Burns are among the new arrivals at Ulster with ambitions of playing at Test level.

"I've locked horns with Billy a fair few times in the Premiership so I think both of us are really excited about this new challenge," said Addison.

"We're both young fellas who have got a lot of aspirations and we feel that the environment we've got here at Ulster with the coaching group we have and the playing group we can fulfil those.

"So we're extremely excited, the pair of us."

Addison, 25, is Irish-qualified and decided to make the switch from Sale to Ulster in an effort to further his international career - a move that has already begun to pay off.

"I've huge ambitions. I've had a little taster," he added.

"I was on holiday in Melbourne in the June series so I managed to do a little bit of training with the Ireland team and I loved that and I'm loving the environment I'm in at the moment so it's really pushing me to be a better player, which is why I made the move really, just to really fulfil my potential and I really feel I can do that here."

Ireland forwards coach Simon Easterby has been appointed to take charge of Ulster on an interim basis
Ireland forwards coach Simon Easterby has been appointed to take charge of Ulster on an interim basis

Getting acquainted

As part of their preseason training schedule, Ulster have taken their squad around the province for a number of public work-outs that have allowed the new players to familiarise themselves with the province and their supporters.

It has also given Addison, Burns and the rest of the senior squad a chance to get acquainted with the new coaching team that has been installed before the arrival of incoming head coach Dan McFarland.

Ireland forwards coach Simon Easterby has agreed to work with the province on an interim basis, assisting the coaching team of Dwayne Peel, Jared Payne and new skills coach Dan Soper.

Payne is Ulster's new defence coach after he was forced to retire from playing last season and Addison is particularly looking forward to learning from the former Ireland centre.

"He's someone that I'll be picking the brains of," said the former England Under-20 international.

"He'll probably be sick of the sight of me soon enough because he covered a fair few positions in his time and I think that's something that I pride myself on doing, but I think he's got those little bits of experience, that little bit of nous here and there, that I need to really learn.

"I'm excited to work with Peely but more so JP, which I think will be fun."

Ulster host Gloucester in a pre-season friendly at the Kingspan Stadium on 18 August and will also travel to play Wasps on 24 August before their opening game of the new Pro14 season against Scarlets on 1 September.