Sale Sharks deny link with Jackson and Olding
Sale Sharks have distanced themselves from a move to sign rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding.
The club said there was "no substance" to rumours they were planning a deal with the pair, who had their IRFU contracts revoked after they were both acquitted of raping the same woman.
Fans of the English club yesterday launched a petition urging Sale not to sign the players following reports from English media they were headed across the Irish Sea.
"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 the IRFU after details of misogynistic messages were revealed during a nine-month rape trial.
While they were both acquitted of all charges against them, they were let go after a conduct 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 at the time.
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".