IRFU Issue Statement On Paddy Jackson & Stuart Olding

PA Wire  PA Images                   Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding

PA Wire PA Images Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding

It follows an internal review which was called after the pair were acquitted of the rape of a 19 year old girl last month.

An internal review of the issues arising from the trial is underway.

Jackson has released statement on the matter to Press Association.

"However, I recognise that my behaviour has fallen far short of the values expected of me as an global player, a role model for the game of rugby and as a son and a brother". I am truly sorry.

Former Ulster and Ireland captain Willie John McBride added his considerable weight to the debate, saying both players should be permitted to resume their careers.

He thanked all of those who supported him, and says he bears no ill will toward anyone.

A female Ulster supporter, who asked not to be named, said: "I Think it's a load of nonsense, the guys have been tried for what they were accused of and that's it".

Around 250 people staged a protest outside Ulster Rugby's stadium on Friday night ahead of the team's first home game since the two players were acquitted of rape.

Prior to today's announcement, Jackson and Olding had been stood down for duty for Ulster and Ireland since charges were brought against them in July 2017.

A statement from Stuart Olding reads: "It is with deep regret that I have been informed that the IRFU have made a decision to revoke my contract".

IRFU Issue Statement On Paddy Jackson & Stuart Olding

'Regrettably, influences outside of my contractual arrangement have made it impossible for that to happen.

I said outside the court that the Stuart Olding that you read about in the trial is not the real Stuart Olding.

To those who have supported me throughout these last 20 months and especially the fans who continue to support me, I thank you all.

It is worth noting that neither Ulster nor the IRFU thanked either player for their contributions to province and country.

Last night it emerged that both Mr Jackson and Mr Olding are expected to leave the club.

Ms Turtle said: "Tonight we are here to send a message to Ulster Rugby and Irish Rugby and all those in positions of leadership in rugby: stamp out misogyny".

Kingspan, the sponsor, told senior individuals in Ulster it was concerned that the fallout from the rugby rape trial was affecting the family-friendly image of the club, a source familiar with the situation said.

Jackson and Olding are finished at Ulster.

Kellie Turtle, from the Belfast Feminist Network, set out five points the group wanted to see addressed, including reforms to the criminal justice system in sex offence cases and the introduction of sex education programmes tackling "toxic masculinity".

Thousands of people on both sides of the argument have also signed competing online petitions reflecting their views.

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