As 60K sign petition against Jackson returning to rugby... French clubs look to sign him
A petition asking that Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding never play rugby again for their province or country has gained significant traction.
The IRFU and Ulster Rugby have already said that they will be carrying out their own internal investigations into the allegations of rape and sexual assault made against Jackson, and the allegation of rape made against Olding.
Both men were found not guilty by a unanimous jury verdict at Belfast Crown Court last week.
They currently remain "relieved of their duties" by the IRFU. A joint IRFU and Ulster Rugby statement last week stated that "officials will review the matter, in line with existing procedures for all contracted players.
"A Review Committee, made up of senior representatives of the IRFU and Ulster Rugby, has been appointed and will conclude its review as soon as practicable."
However, with a question-mark very much remaining over their playing careers, clubs in Britain and France are reportedly making approaches to the two men.
Two rugby clubs have already approached Jackson. A third club has also shown interest in both Jackson and Olding, according to the Sunday Independent.
"However, Jackson is said to have made it clear to his representatives that the only club he wants to play for is Ulster," the publication adds.
"Legal representatives for Jackson and Olding are preparing a full defence to any charge that they have brought the game into disrepute to ensure their clients see out their current contracts in totality."
Any player whose contract is being terminated must be given four weeks written notice. Jackson and Olding are both on six-figure contracts with the IRFU, with Jackson being paid a higher figure than Olding.
Both men's current contracts - which run into 2019 - were signed just weeks before events unfolded at a party at Jackson's home in the early hours of June 28, 2016,