Ulster players reveal 'sadness' at Jackson, Olding terminations

Ulster's players and staff were disappointed at the decision to cancel the deals of Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding after the duo were acquitted of rape charges.

The Ireland internationals were cleared of rape at Belfast Crown Court last month, with Jackson also found not guilty of sexual assault.

Both men had denied raping the same woman at a party at Jackson's home in June 2016.

Although Jackson and Olding were cleared of criminal charges, they have faced criticism over the content of explicit WhatsApp conversations that emerged during the trial between the players and their friends.

Following a review of the trial, Ulster and the Irish Rugby Football Union released a joint statement last week confirming that the two players' contracts had been terminated.

"It is with a great deal of sadness that the players and pro staff have learnt of this outcome," said Ulster hooker Rob Herring, reading from a pre-prepared statement as he faced the media on Tuesday.

"We know that the two boys will be successful both on and off the pitch wherever they go.

"As a group, we have to move on and our full focus is now on Glasgow this weekend."

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