"Money did not drive the decision" - Head of Ulster Rugby on revoking Jackon and Olding's contracts 3 months ago

"Money did not drive the decision" - Head of Ulster Rugby on revoking Jackon and Olding's contracts

"They have made a very serious mistake."

Money did not influence the decision to revoke the contracts of rugby stars Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding, the head of Ulster Rugby has told the Press Association.

The decision to revoke the two players' contracts was made this weekend by the IRFU and Ulster Rugby.

Rumours that the two men would be dropped by their respective clubs were heard following talk that the clubs' sponsors would not be happy to associate their brand with the men's behaviour, thus jeopardising finances the clubs would receive from said sponsors.

Ulster head Shane Logan also rejected criticism that the two players had been effectively hung out to dry by their club and country.

Logan, who has since refused to quit his position as chief executive, said that he believed both men had made a "serious mistake" but hoped they would find success elsewhere.

"They have done a lot for Ulster and Irish Rugby. They have made a very serious mistake," he said.

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

26-year-old Paddy Jackson and 25-year-old Stuart Olding were found not guilty of raping a 19-year-old student back in June of 2016.

The pair were acquitted and freed along with their two friends, Blane McIlroy, who was cleared of exposure, and Rory Harrison who'd denied charges of perverting the course of public justice, and withholding information.

Mr Logan said he did not believe they would ever play for Ireland or Ulster again.

The highly-publicised trial ran for nine weeks at Belfast Crown Court. During the court case, a number of sexually explicit and offensive texts and WhatsApp exchanges were brought to light, sparking a wave of protest on social media and on the streets.