Sunday 27 May 2018

Ulster rugby fans call off protest over sacking of Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding

Paddy Jackson (left) and Stuart Olding. Photo: PA
Paddy Jackson (left) and Stuart Olding. Photo: PA

Cate McCurry

Ulster Rugby supporters club have decided not to hold a protest over decision to revoke contracts of Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding.

The supporters' club asked its members to respond to the outcome of IRFU and Ulster Rugby review of the players.

Instead of holding a protest, the supporters club will send a letter to Ulster Rugby expressing their views.

In a statement the supporters club said: "Whilst all options received support, the results show a considerable majority of members were disappointed or appalled by the IRFU/Ulster Rugby sanctions in respect of Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding.

"The URSC (Ulster Rugby Supporters Club) Committee has taken note of the poll results and the comments received in tandem.

"The Committee also noted that whilst a third of members were appalled and wanted some form of protest, it was the Committee’s view that such action, whilst cathartic and no doubt headline grabbing, would have little impact on the hierarchy of either the IRFU or Ulster Rugby.

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"Protest would also likely adversely affect the remaining playing squad for the last crucial matches of the season and would be disrespectful to players like Tommy Bowe making their final home appearance.

"The URSC will therefore be writing to IRFU/Ulster Rugby next week to express members’ considerable dissatisfaction and disgust at the recent turn of events.

"This has been a grim period in Ulster Rugby’s justifiably proud history.

"It has proved horribly divisive and distracting. Whilst some cannot forgive and others certainly won’t forget, it’s now time to move forward.

"To use our own mantra, it’s now time to SUFTUM. In particular, URSC reiterates its call to supporters to stand as one with the team on Saturday.

"Finally, URSC notes that Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding have apologised fulsomely for their behaviour which they have admitted was below acceptable standards.

"The URSC would like to thank the players for their on-field efforts for both Ulster and Ireland and wish them well in their rugby futures, wherever that may be."

Belfast Telegraph

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