Jackson and Olding return for Ireland not ruled out by Nucifora

‘I don’t think anything is ever forever, who knows what could happen ’ says IRFU official

  Stuart Olding (left) and Paddy Jackson: “For the immediate future, there’s no thought that they will be considered. They are playing overseas so at the moment if you’re playing overseas, you’re not considered.”

Stuart Olding (left) and Paddy Jackson: “For the immediate future, there’s no thought that they will be considered. They are playing overseas so at the moment if you’re playing overseas, you’re not considered.”

 

IRFU performance director David Nucifora has not ruled out the possibility of Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding one day returning to play within the Irish system and being available to play for Ireland again.

The two Ulster and Irish players had their contracts revoked by the IRFU and Ulster in April. Following a nine-week trial, Jackson and Olding were cleared of raping the same woman in Mr Jackson’s house in the early hours of June 28th 2016.

But their contracts were terminated after a joint review by the IRFU and Ulster over text messages they had exchanged in a Whatsapp group and which were revealed during the trial.

I don’t think anything is ever forever, who knows what could happen or what will happen?

Both players will ply their trade in French club rugby next season, Jackson (26) with newly-promoted Perpignan in the Top 14, and Olding (25) with relegated Brive in the ProD2.

Asked if they would remain out of consideration to play for Ireland for the remainder of their careers, Nuifora said: “It’s not one for me to say but I don’t think we can make a comment on that. But I don’t think anything is ever forever, who knows what could happen or what will happen?

The players now have found new contracts so that’s a positive for them personally, individually, and everyone just has to move on from that

“For the immediate future, there’s no thought that they will be considered. They are playing overseas so at the moment, if you’re playing overseas, you’re not considered.”

The case highlighted the need for the IRFU to better educate its young players.

“There’s always been ongoing education and I think that has been reviewed, how we can make that better,” said Nucifora.

“That is still being worked on, looking at how we can continue to better the education of our players across all areas of social responsibility. That is being done, has been done and will continue to be worked on.

“The players now have found new contracts so that’s a positive for them personally, individually, and everyone just has to move on from that. It was a tough year in regards to that for the players, for Ulster and for rugby in general. Hopefully, we don’t go through that ever again.”

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