Sports

Where next for Stuart Olding and Paddy Jackson?

Where next for Stuart Olding and Paddy Jackson?

A former Ulster and Irish global has called on rugby authorities to explain why they sacked Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding.

Paddy Jackson of Ulster during the Guinness PRO12 Round 19 match between Ulster and Cardiff Blues at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast.

In the days after the trial, opinions were split over whether Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding, the Ulster and Ireland rugby internationals, should play for their club or country again.

Ulster Rugby boss Shane Logan was speaking for the first time since Ulster revoked the players' contracts and admitted that he did not foresee them returning to play for the province in the future.

"I think we were all shocked because I don't think what subsequently emerged was in line with what we knew of them or indeed how we expect any of us to behave".

During the trial, a series of WhatsApp messages sent between the players were put into the public domain and have been the subject of much public commentary.

'The position is joint.

In a statement on the club's official website, Clermont head coach Franck Azéma says the reports were "false information" and they have made no contact with Jackson, and there is 'no desire on our part to engage his services'.

"I hope that they will learn from that and I hope they fulfil their potential going forward".

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Jackson (26) and Olding (25) were both acquitted of the rape of the same woman at a party in Jackson's home in June 2016.

He insisted money did not drive the decision to sack the players.

Jackson was also unanimously acquitted of sexual assault.

Move on, we are a Supporters' Club and we support the club not individual players.

"In terms of pressures I think you mentioned sponsors, no the decision was not made on the back of sponsors pressure".

"In arriving at this decision, the Irish Rugby Football Union and Ulster Rugby acknowledge our responsibility and commitment to the core values of the game: Respect, Inclusivity and Integrity".

The Sunday Times yesterday linked Jackson with a move to French Top 14 club Clermont, as the 26-year-old, who had established himself as understudy to Johnny Sexton in the global team, looks to rebuild his career.

Both players were acquitted of all charges, but it was decided they were to be let go due to their behaviour regardless.

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