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'No desire on our part to engage his services' - Clermont head coach rules out signing Paddy Jackson

24 June 2017; Paddy Jackson of Ireland kicks a conversion during the international rugby match between Japan and Ireland in the Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
24 June 2017; Paddy Jackson of Ireland kicks a conversion during the international rugby match between Japan and Ireland in the Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Clermont head coach Franck Azema has shot down speculation of a move for Paddy Jackson after it was reported that the out-half was close to signing with the French giants.

Jackson is looking for a new club after his contract with Ulster and Ireland was revoked on Saturday along with Stuart Olding's following an internal review into their behaviour.

Jackson and Olding were acquitted of rape at a trial in Belfast last month, with the out-half also found not guilty of sexual assault.

However, derogatory messages sent in a Whatsapp group, which were disclosed during the trial, led to many people to call for the IRFU and Ulster to sever ties with the duo, which they did over the weekend.

Speculation quickly mounted that Jackson was close to finalising a move to the Top 14, with Clermont Auvergne reportedly the favourite to sign the number ten.

However, Azema has addressed the reports in a press conference this afternoon, saying that there is no truth to the story.

"There is no contact between Paddy Jackson and the club and no desire on our part to engage his services," he told the Clermont website.

"I trust our squad in this position where we do not lack resources with Camille Lopez, Patricio Fernandez, Isaia Toeava and Dorian Lavernhe who continues to progress and whom we trust. With the constraints imposed by the Salary Cap, it is not possible to strengthen the position where the internal solutions are numerous. "

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