Wednesday 19 September 2018

Paddy Jackson in line to play in Ireland next season as Perpignan draw Connacht in Challenge Cup

Perpignan's Irish flyhalf Paddy Jackson. Photo: Raymond Roig/AFP/Getty Images
Perpignan's Irish flyhalf Paddy Jackson. Photo: Raymond Roig/AFP/Getty Images

Paddy Jackson in line to play in Ireland next season as Perpignan have been drawn in the same Challenge Cup pool as Connacht.

The Westeners were drawn in Pool 3 alongside Sale Sharks, Bordeaux-Begles and Perpignan.

Jackson made his return to rugby yesterday as he turned out for pre-season training for the first time with new club Perpignan.

The 26-year-old was pictured meeting his new team-mates at Perpignan's training base in the south of France. Jackson signed a two-year deal with the newly-promoted French side last month.

The fly-half and fellow former Ulster star Stuart Olding, who has signed a deal to play with French ProD2 side Brive, were acquitted of all charges in a high-profile rape case but had their contracts revoked by the IRFU afterwards.

"I want to find my best level quickly, I may be a little rusty but not too much," Jackson told 'L'équipe'. "I will learn the culture of the team, I will recover ground and that's good."

2018/19 Challenge Cup pools

Pool 1: Northampton Saints, ASM Clermont Auvergne, Dragons, Timisoara Saracens

Pool 2:  Pau, Ospreys, Worcester Warriors, Stade Français Paris

Pool 3:  Sale Sharks, Connacht Rugby, Bordeaux-Bègles, Perpignan

Pool 4:  La Rochelle, Zebre Rugby Club, Bristol Bears, Enisei-STM

Pool 5:  Benetton Rugby, Harlequins, Agen, Grenoble

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