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Top 14 side Clermont respond to Paddy Jackson rumours

17 April 2018

This is a clear example of the challenge that faces both Olding and Paddy Jackson in their search for new clubs, after the pair were found not guilty of rape at their trial in Belfast last month, but an internal review at the IRFU and Ulster found their behaviour unacceptable and revoked their contracts.

Reports at the weekend suggested Jackson was closing in on a move to French giants Clermont while Exeter Chiefs had been linked with Olding, although the English club distanced themselves from a move for the 25-year-old on Sunday.

With the amount of media attention the trial received there is bound to be interest in where the two will play their rugby next.

"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".

As for the rugby authorities, the fact that there will now be a review within the game in Ireland to ensure core values are understood, supported and practised at every level, must be regarded as a welcome first step.

"I think there is a sense among the fans that they have been left in the dark".

He added: "By their (Jackson and Olding) own admission, their behaviours fell very far short of what is expected of a role model, of a professional player in Ulster and Ireland".

"Quite a vague statement has been brought out".

"They probably see these guys being acquitted and then judged on their text messages, which were obviously completely out of order".

"I think that is the core issue here and that is why they are moving on".

Although the head of Ulster Rugby, Shane Logan, has denied their decision was driven by sponsors, the financial implications of this case must surely have been considered along with other factors.

"Also for the players themselves to move on and start again because Belfast and Ulster is a goldfish bowl".

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

"In the odd chance that they ended up coming back here in a European cup game, with another club, I'm sure the supporters within the Kingspan stadium will welcome them back".

Top 14 side Clermont respond to Paddy Jackson rumours