Ulster players release statement on Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding departure

Florence Fletcher
April 17, 2018

Pleased they are gone, they have brought disgrace to Ulster Rugby.

Where to next for Jackson and Olding was discussed on this week's The Hard Yards rugby show, a JOE podcast.

Following an internal review into their conduct, employers Ulster Rugby and the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) announced at the weekend they had ended the players' contracts with immediate effect.

It comes as the Ulster Rugby CEO Shane Logan said the province and the IRFU did not envisage the players playing for club or country again.

English rugby side Exeter chiefs have this morning rubbished reports that former Ulster and Ireland centre Stuart Olding was to join the club.

"We know that the two boys will be successful both on and off the pitch wherever they go".

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.

Mr Logan insisted sponsorship money did not have any impact on the club's decision.

On Monday, Logan refuted claims the players had been hung out to dry and told the News Letter the decision was not made on the back of pressure from sponsors or other outside influences.

"I have my own views on that but someone in Ulster Rugby has to come out and make that very clear".

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"The position is joint".

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

The IRFU and Ulster rugby confirmed on Saturday that the duo were to leave.

Jackson had been linked with French club CLERMONT Auvergne in the past few days, but they also have came out to say he will not be signing for them.

"No sponsor including Bank of Ireland drove the decision", he told Britain's Press Association.

Both Olding and Jackson were found not guilty of all charges following a nine-week trial in Belfast.

'But at the end of the day, having looked at all those things, the decision was based on alignment with what it is we stand for, in particular, the value of respect.

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.

Ireland hooker Rob Herring read a short prepared statement from Ulster players.

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