Ireland duo face rape trial

Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding are set to miss the entire 2017-18 season after being charged with rape.

This follows an alleged incident at a south Belfast house party in June 2016.

The Irish Rugby Football Union and Ulster Rugby have stood the players down until the conclusion of the court process.

The players' lawyers stressed that their clients denied the charges.

'We are very disappointed at the decision of the PPS [Public Prosecution Service] to prosecute, given the particular circumstances and facts known in this case,' said Kevin Winters, Jackson’s solicitor. 'Our client rejects completely the allegations made against him and we are confident he will be ­exonerated in due course.'

Joe Rice, Olding’s solicitor, said: 'My client has co-operated fully with the police investigation. He is a man of impeccable good character and has never brought himself to the attention of the authorities previously. He is not subject to any bail conditions and he’s anxious to restore his good name through the court process in Northern Ireland, where the charge against him will be fully contested.'

Jackson has 25 Test caps for Ireland and Olding four.

Photo: Anne Laing/HM Images

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