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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Irish Rugby Football Union sacks Jackson and Olding

Irish rugby's governing body revoked the contracts of two internationals acquitted of rape citing the 'core values of the game'

Irish rugby player Paddy Jackson, one of two players found not guilty of rape in March 2018. Paul Faith / AFP
Irish rugby player Paddy Jackson, one of two players found not guilty of rape in March 2018. Paul Faith / AFP

Irish rugby's governing body has revoked the contracts of two internationals acquitted of rape citing "the core values of the game" after a trial exposed their use of degrading language towards the woman who accused them.

The Irish Rugby Football Union said in a statement that both the national organisation and the Ulster Rugby club had rescinded the contracts of Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding with immediate effect.

Mr Jackson, 26, and Mr Olding, 25, were found not guilty of raping the woman in Mr Jackson's home in the early hours of June 28, 2016.

But an eight-week trial led to widespread criticism of their behaviour towards women and calls for them to be permanently dropped from the Ireland team.

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Irish rugby stars acquitted of rape in divisive trial

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Mr Jackson said in a statement on Saturday he was "deeply disappointed" about the outcome of the IRFU review.

But he added that he was "truly sorry" his behaviour had fallen "far short of the values" expected of him as an international player.

Mr Olding said he regretted the decision by the IRFU, describing his treatment since the acquittal as "both fair and unfair." On the day of the acquittal he said he was sorry for the hurt caused to the complainant.

The IRFU also suspended Irish national player Craig Gilroy until April 26 following a review of a text message he sent.