26 Jul 2017

Irish rugby players face sexual assault charges

1:39 pm on 26 July 2017

Two Irish rugby stars are among four men to be prosecuted for offences relating to allegations of rape according to the BBC.

Ireland first five Paddy Jackson.

Ireland first five Paddy Jackson. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding, who both play for Ulster, were arrested in June 2016 with two other men, and questioned about allegations of a sexual assault in south Belfast.

The Public Prosecution Service confirmed a decision has been taken to prosecute four men in relation to allegations of rape.

The PPS said: "Following a careful review of all of the available evidence, in accordance with our Code for Prosecutors, it has been decided that there is sufficient evidence to prosecute four individuals."

Solicitors representing Mr Jackson and Mr Olding confirmed their clients are to be prosecuted for alleged rape but deny the allegations.

Ireland centre Stuart Olding fends off a tackle.

Ireland centre Stuart Olding fends off a tackle. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Another man is to be charged with a sexual offence and a fourth man is to be charged with intent to pervert the course of justice.

All four men are due to appear in court next month.

The Irish Rugby Football Union and Ulster Rugby said the players have agreed that they be relieved of their duties and obligations until the conclusion of the legal process, to allow them time to address the matter fully.

Jackson, a first five, has made 25 appearances for Ireland while Olding, a midfielder, has won four caps.