Friday 18 August 2017

Irish move on from Jackson absence

Farrell blanks questions about Ulster out-half and backs Carbery to seize chance in Chicago

Assistant coach Andy Farrell refused to engage with the issue at a media conference at the team’s base at the Trump International Tower Hotel yesterday, referring to Ulster’s earlier statement on the matter. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Assistant coach Andy Farrell refused to engage with the issue at a media conference at the team’s base at the Trump International Tower Hotel yesterday, referring to Ulster’s earlier statement on the matter. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ireland are attempting to block out the controversy surrounding Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding and focus on their meeting with the All Blacks on Saturday.

Assistant coach Andy Farrell refused to engage with the issue at a media conference at the team's base at the Trump International Tower Hotel yesterday, referring to Ulster's earlier statement on the matter.

The Ulster duo were arrested and questioned by the PSNI with regard to an alleged sexual assault in Belfast last June.

The case is with the Northern Ireland Public Prosecution Service and both men denied any wrongdoing in a statement released by the province.

The news emerged as a result of the decision by management not to include Jackson in the squad that travelled to Chicago on Monday. The IRFU cited "personal reasons" and they would not be drawn yesterday on the reasons behind his omission.

However, Jackson has not been ruled out of participation in the remaining Guinness Series games and could feature against Canada at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday week.

Read more: Andy Farrell refuses to be drawn on Paddy Jackson situation as Ireland gear up for All Blacks clash

He will not play for Ulster against Edinburgh on Friday night, while Olding is currently out with a hip-flexor injury.

"Ulster have come out and made a statement this morning. We'll reference you to that and we'll get on with our own business," Farrell said.

"We've got a big week ahead of us here in Chicago. We've had little preparation, our focus has to be on the game and we'll make no further comment."

Jackson's absence means Ireland are forced to put 21-year-old Joey Carbery on the bench.

"It's exciting for him though, isn't it?" Farrell said.

"He's played well and honestly, you find out about people coming into an environment like this, straight away. Sometimes they shrink and sometimes they grow. Joey ain't short of confidence."

Irish Independent

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