Sport & Leisure

Sale Sharks say there is no substance to reports of them signing the ex-Ulster players – Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding

By Peter Trollope at

Sale Sharks will not be signing Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding.

Media speculation suggested Sale had offered deals to the ex-Ulster players, Jackson, 26, and Olding, 25.

Their contracts were cancelled by Ulster and the Irish Rugby Football Union.

Both were cleared of rape after a nine-week trial earlier this year,  but there was controversy over social media and text messages they had exchanged.

Stuart Olding and Paddy Jackson

“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,” the club statement said.

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

Several newspapers and media seemed to confirm the pair would sign for Sale Sharks in the summer recess. But Sale’s link with the pair caused unrest and disagreement amongst season-ticket holders and sponsors.

The IRFU/Ulster Rugby statement last month after their dismissal said: “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.”

Jackson was a regular at Test level for Ireland, making 25 appearances, while Olding played four times for his country.

Both were also key members of the Ulster squad, playing in the Pro14 and European Champions Cup competitions for the province.