Rugby

Sale deny reports of move for axed Irish pair

2018-05-02 21:44
Paddy Jackson (Getty)

London - English Premiership side Sale have denied reports that they planned to offer former Ireland flyhalf Paddy Jackson and centre Stuart Olding a chance to resurrect their careers.

Jackson, 26, and 25-year-old Olding were in March unanimously acquitted of raping the same woman in June 2016.

Jackson was also unanimously acquitted of sexual assault.

But Jackson, who has 25 Test caps, and Olding had their contracts with Ulster and the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) terminated after an internal review following their acquittal, effectively bringing their Test careers to an end.

The high-profile trial at Belfast Crown Court brought to light a number of sexually explicit and offensive WhatsApp exchanges that sparked a wave of protest on social media and on the streets and concern from sponsors of the Ulster team.

Britain's Daily Telegraph, following a report in the Belfast Telegraph, said Sale would offer the two players contracts on significantly lower wages than they previously enjoyed.

But Sale responded by issuing a statement distancing themselves from the duo later on Wednesday.

"We can confirm there is no substance to the rumours currently circulating in relation to the signing of the two international rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding," the statement read.

"Our search continues for top-class players to bolster the squad for next season."

Sale, under director of rugby Steve Diamond, have a reputation for taking on controversial players.

Diamond signed Australia's James O'Connor from French outfit Toulon for the 2017/18 season shortly after he had been fined for a drugs bust outside a Paris nightclub.

Read more on:    sale  |  stuart olding  |  paddy jackson  |  rugby
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