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Sunday 22 July 2018

We won't be signing Jackson and Olding - English side Sharks

Paddy Jackson (pictured) and Stuart Olding were fired by Ulster Rugby
Paddy Jackson (pictured) and Stuart Olding were fired by Ulster Rugby
Stuart Olding

Sale Sharks have rubbished reports they plan to sign Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding.

The English rugby club said there was "no substance" to rumours they were planning a deal with the pair.

Supporters had yesterday launched a petition urging Sale not to sign the players, in the wake of suggestions from English media they were heading across the Irish Sea.

Rumour

"Sale Sharks can confirm there is no substance to the rumours currently circulating in relation to the signing of the two international rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding," a statement said.

"Our search continues for top-class players to bolster the squad for next season."

Last month there were suggestions French side Clermont Auvergne were considering Jackson but they distanced themselves from that rumour. Exeter also denied any interest.

Fly-half Jackson (26) and Olding (25) were fired by Ulster Rugby and the Irish Rugby Football Union after details of misogynistic messages were revealed during a rape trial.

While they were both acquitted of all charges against them, Ulster let them go after a review.

"In arriving at this decision, the Irish Rugby Football Union and Ulster Rugby acknowledge our responsibility and commitment to the core values of the game - respect, inclusivity and integrity," a statement said.

The Sale fan petition said Ulster rugby had "the moral backbone" to kick Jackson and Olding out of the club "for gross misogyny and a disgusting attitude towards women".

"Regardless of the outcome of their rape trial, the evidence is there that these are two men with views towards women that have no place in 2018," it added.

Yesterday it emerged that a judgment was entered of costs of around €22,700 against the players in a privacy case they took against the BBC. They had taken legal action against the British national broadcaster for publishing details of the case before formal charges were made.

Their legal teams contended they weren't given sufficient notice for a right of reply before the story appeared. They claimed it was a private matter and raised issues about how the information was obtained.

The BBC argued its reporting was factual and in the public interest, due to the two players' profile, interest in provincial and international rugby, and the nature of the police investigation.

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