16/04/2018

Paddy Jackson's And Stuart Olding's Contracts Revoked

The contracts of Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding have been revoked with "immediate effect" by the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) and Ulster Rugby.

Last month, the two rugby players were unanimously acquitted of raping a woman at a house in south Belfast in June 2016.

However, the pair were criticised over aspects of their behaviour concerning sexually explicit WhatsApp conversations, with major sponsors of Ulster Rugby also having voiced their concerns.

In a statement, IRFU and Ulster Rugby said: "Following a review, conducted in the aftermath of recent court proceedings, the Irish Rugby Football Union and Ulster Rugby have revoked the contracts of Patrick Jackson and Stuart Olding with immediate effect.

"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.

"It has been agreed, as part of this commitment, to conduct an in-depth review of existing structures and educational programmes, within the game in Ireland, to ensure the importance of these core values is clearly understood, supported and practised at every level of the game."
News Image
A statement from Stuart Olding released by his solicitor said: "It is with regret that I have been informed that the IRFU have decided to revoke my contract.

"As I said outside Court following my acquittal, I am and will always be fiercely proud of having played for my province and country.

"I very much wished to continue to have the opportunity to represent them.

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

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

Mr Jackson also expressed his disappointment in a statement to the Press Association: "I am deeply disappointed about the outcome of the IRFU and Ulster Rugby's internal review.

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

"I would like to thank everyone who has supported me throughout this process. I have taken great strength from that support. I'd also like to thank Ulster and Irish rugby for the opportunities that they provided for me and I wish them, and all my former team mates, every success.

"My focus in the months and years ahead will be on rebuilding the trust placed in me by people throughout Ulster and Ireland."

Image: Paddy Jackson.

(LM/MH)

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