IRFU confirm Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding's contracts have been revoked

IRFU confirm Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding's contracts have been revoked

One of Europe's top clubs has moved to the top of the queue to sign former Ulster outhalf Paddy Jackson after his contract was terminated by both the IRFU and Ulster rugby of Saturday. We too are committed to rugby's values of respect, integrity and inclusivity.

A divide will persist between those who applaud the union's directness and those who believe that as they were acquitted, and as those offensive messages were initially private, they deserved the chance to renew their careers.

The statement from Ulster Rugby and the IRFU comes after a crowd of around 200 people gathered outside Kingspan Stadium to stage a protest ahead of Ulster's victory over Ospreys on Friday, their first home game since Jackson and Olding were acquitted of all charges following the conclusion of the trial late last month. It is therefore with great sadness and regret but with many cherished memories that I leave that behind.

"It is with regret", he began, "that I have been informed that the IRFU have chose to revoke my contract". On the day of the acquittal he said he was sorry for the hurt caused to the complainant. I very much wished to continue to have the opportunity to represent them. The treatment that I have received since my acquittal, both fair and unfair, has made me even more determined to prove myself.

The news broke that the two players at the centre of a rape trial would no longer play for their province over the weekend and now they must seek employment elsewhere.

Campaigners calling for Jackson and Olding to be axed took out a prominent newspaper advert last week.

Meanwhile, Craig Gilroy has been sanctioned over a message sent following the alleged incident in 2016, and will be unavailable to play for Ulster until the 26th of April.