London Irish leave Paddy Jackson out for Munster trip

Protests had been planned for former Ulster outhalf’s first match back on Irish soil

Paddy Jackson during a London Irish training session at Hazelwood Centre in Sunbury, England. Photograph: Getty Images

Paddy Jackson during a London Irish training session at Hazelwood Centre in Sunbury, England. Photograph: Getty Images

 

London Irish have not included new signing Paddy Jackson in their squad for Friday night’s pre-season friendly against Munster at Musgrave Park.

Along with his former Ulster and Ireland team-mate Stuart Olding, the 27-year-old was acquitted of rape in March last year following a nine-week trial during which it was revealed the provincial colleagues exchanged lewd text messages that were derogatory towards women.

An outcry from women’s rights organisations ensued and some London Irish fans have vowed to boycott the Madejski Stadium in opposition at his arrival, while long-standing sponsor Diageo has ended its sponsorship of the club.

There were also protests planned to take place in Cork ahead of Friday’s match, which was expected to be Jackson’s first on Irish soil since the court case in Belfast.

The outhalf’s contract was terminated by the IRFU in April 2018, and he joined French club Perpignan where he played last season. Jackson did not travel with the team for their Challenge Cup clash with Galway last December, and his new club have made the same call.

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