Rugby World Cup: Ireland's tournament 'was hard to watch' - Addison

Will Addison and Jarrod Evans
Will Addison only made his Ireland debut in November 2018 and injury hampered his chances of making Joe Schmidt's final 31-man squad for the World Cup

Ulster centre Will Addison believes Ireland "went away from what we were so good at" after their Rugby World Cup ended at the quarter-final stage.

Joe Schmidt's men were knocked out by New Zealand in the last eight and also lost to hosts Japan in the Pool stages.

"I think the signs weren't great in the Six Nations," reflected Addison, speaking on Sportsound Extra Time.

"We got sucked into thinking about the semi-finals rather than about the Pool games as much."

He added: "We probably went away from what we were so good at in the last Autumn, which was being very 'moment focused', to use one of the phrases that Joe uses.

"We really had it down to a fine tee, we knew what was in front of us and the All Blacks performance last November was probably a highlight of that.

"We'd done well with that throughout Joe's time and potentially we got sidetracked by the fact we were the top nation.

"It was disappointing but hopefully the work Joe has done, and the legacy that he leaves, will leave us in good stead."

I knew I was tight for time

After moving to Ulster in the summer of 2018, Addison made his Ireland debut that November, however a back injury in January dented his hopes of securing a place in Schmidt's squad.

Addison was omitted from the original training squad for the World Cup, however the centre was called up to the squad despite not playing since his surgery at the start of the year.

The utility back started in the warm-up game against Wales but was left out of the final 31-man squad that travelled to Japan.

"In the back of my mind I knew I was tight for time," added the 27-year-old.

Will Addison
Addison has been hit by a series of injuries since joining Ulster in 2018

"Joe puts a lot of emphasis on training when it comes to his selection policy and I know with my ability I could have trained really well.

"Unfortunately I had a calf injury during pre-season and that was the one that hindered me the most because I missed out on the opportunity to play against Italy at home.

"That probably put me on the back burner.

"Andrew Conway and Chris Farrell played phenomenally well in those warm-up games and I was happy for those guys.

"It was hard to watch because when you have been involved in the team, you become invested in it," said Addison on Ireland's tournament.

"It was tough to watch when it didn't go the way that we had hoped.

"I can't have too many complaints about missing out, as much as it was a dream and an ambition."

Listen back to Sportsound Extra Time with Nikki Gregg, Will Addison, Shirley McCay, Ruby Walsh, Kyle McCallan and Oisin McConville on the BBC Sounds App or here

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