Ulster supporters’ club wants Jackson and Olding to resume playing

‘The majority of members wish to see their early reinstatement to playing duties’

Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding  were found not guilty of raping the same woman in 2016

Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding were found not guilty of raping the same woman in 2016

 

The Ulster Rugby Supporters’ Club (URSC) has said the vast majority of members have made it clear they wish to see Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding reinstated to playing duties.

Last month at Belfast Crown Court the pair were found not guilty of raping the same woman in 2016 and an IRFU and Ulster Rugby review process was instigated to determine their futures.

Both have been “relieved of all duties” since the legal process began.

A statement from Johnathan Bill, chairman of the official independent supporters club of Ulster Rugby, acknowledged recent events “have been difficult and traumatic for all involved”.

He said it respects both the judicial outcome and the ongoing IRFU and Ulster review process which it “regards as a matter solely for the players and their employer”.

Mr Bill also said URSC doubted the 139 people - “purporting to be concerned fans” - who placed an advertisement in the Belfast Telegraph urging the review panel to never allow the men to play for the sides again, were among its membership.

Mr Bill said it had not received any calls from members calling for them to be banned from playing for Ulster, “on the contrary, the vast majority of members have made it clear they wish to see their early reinstatement to playing duties”.

A third player Craig Gilroy was not a defendant in the trial but is also subject to the review process due after an offensive message about women he sent to Olding formed part of evidence at the trial.