Friday 27 April 2018

Rúaidhrí O'Connor: 105 words are the first steps back to rugby's core values

On the way out: Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding have both been sacked by Ulster and will now ply their trade abroad. Photo: Sportsfile
On the way out: Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding have both been sacked by Ulster and will now ply their trade abroad. Photo: Sportsfile

Rúaidhrí O'Connor

It took no more than 105 words of an IRFU statement, released on Saturday morning, to bring the most toxic chapter in Irish rugby to its natural conclusion and the promising international careers of Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding to an end.

They are already in the market in search of contracts abroad and will find willing suitors to offer them a fresh start, but for Ulster and Irish rugby it is important that lessons are learnt and the reputational damage wrought by a very public trial is repaired.

In the aftermath of the pair's acquittal on rape charges, it was said there were no winners, and that remains the case.

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