STUART Olding has said he "deeply regrets" the events of the night of June 28 in a statement after he was acquitted of one count of rape.
Outside Belfast Crown Court the Ireland international issued a statement via his solicitor, Paul Dougan.
"As you will appreciate everyone including Stuart Olding is in a heightened state of emotion and it would not be appropriate for him to answer questions today," Mr Dougan said.
The statement he read out on behalf of his client read:
"I want to start by thanking the judge and jury for their time and patience throughout this long trial . I am very relieved that the jury has accepted my explanation as to what occurred. I want to acknowledge publicly that though I committed no criminal offence on the evening of the 28th of June 2016 I regret deeply the events of that evening. I want to acknowledge that the complainant came to court and gave evidence about her perception of those events.
"I am sorry for the hurt that was caused to the complainant. It was never my intention to cause any upset to anyone on that night. I don't agree with her perception of events and I maintain that everything that happened on that evening was consensual.
"I have consistently told the truth to the police and the court when asked to account for my condict.
"The Stuart Olding who has been portrayed over the past nine weeks in this trial is not the real Stuart Olding. I am fiercely proud to represent my province and my country. I have worked very hard to achieve those goals. I hope to be able to prove myself going forward in all aspects of my life."
He also thanked his legal team and his family for their support.