Jackson And Olding IRFU And Ulster Rugby Contracts Cancelled

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In a trial last month, both Jackson and Olding were acquitted of raping a woman in 2016 after a night out but an internal review by both Ulster and the IRFU decided the pair should be sacked.

His services are understood to have been pitched throughout the Premiership - with speculation mounting in Ireland about a link-up with Gloucester.

Ulster Rugby and the IRFU have confirmed that Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding have had their contracts revoked with immediate effect.

A number of teams from both England and France have been linked with the pair over the past few weeks as speculation surrounding their future grew following the not guilty verdicts in their trial.

'He's been offered everywhere but a family club wouldn't want to be associated with those messages'.

"It is with regret", he began, "that I have been informed that the IRFU have made a decision to revoke my contract".

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One hundred fans bought an advert in the Belfast Telegraph calling on Ulster to reinstate the players who are suspended while their conduct is investigated by Ulster Rugby and the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU).

It described the Whatsapp messages that emerged during the trial as "reprehensible".

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

It said: "It is with regret that I have been informed that the IRFU have made a decision to revoke my contract".

Kellie Turtle, an organiser of the "Stamp out Misogyny at Ulster Rugby" protest said: "This is to send a message to Ulster Rugby and the IRFU to take action on what we see as a very worrying underbelly of sexism and misogyny".

"Since I was a young boy it was my ambition to play for Ulster and Ireland and I am extremely proud, privileged and honoured to have done so". I am truly sorry.

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And now The Sunday Independent reports that a "financial settlement' was reached with Jackson and Olding by rugby officials".

"It is therefore with great sadness and regret but with many cherished memories that I leave that behind".

Two other men, Blane McIlroy (26) and Rory Harrison (25) were also unanimously acquitted of lesser charges connected to the case.

The latest protest against the duo saw dozens of people stage a protest on Friday outside the stadium in Belfast ahead of Ulster's Pro14 match against Ospreys, the side's first home game since the trial.

Brendan Kelly QC, for Mr Jackson, told Judge Smyth it was with a "heavy heart" that he raised his concerns that there was a "tone and sympathy" when outlining the complainant's evidence which was not present when dealing with the defendants' cases.

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