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Jackson and Olding Ireland returns?

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Ireland returns for Jackson and Olding not ruled out

Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding could return to play for Ireland again according to a high profile member of the IRFU.

IRFU Performance Director David Nucifora hasn’t ruled out a return for the duo, who have moved to France to play club rugby following their high profile rape trial. Both men were acquitted of all charges.

The players were sacked by Ulster Rugby after a review by the club and the IRFU into text messages and social media revealed in court.

Jackson has since signed a two-year contract with Perpignan who are returning to the French Top 14 for the first time in four years.

Meanwhile, Olding has agreed a two-year deal with Brive in the second tier of French rugby.

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Neither player would be eligible to play for Ireland due to the fact that they play outside the country, as per current IRFU rules, but a return beyond that isn’t out of the question.

“I don’t think anything is ever forever. Who knows what could happen or what will happen?”, Nucifora said while speaking with the media ahead of Ireland’s third Test against the Wallabies.

“The players now have found new contracts so that is a positive for them personally, individually, and everyone just has to move on from that.

“For the immediate future, there’s no thought that they will be considered. They are playing overseas at the moment. If you are playing overseas, you are not considered.”

Both Jackson and Olding had initially been believed to have been close to signing with Sale in the Premiership, but a reported inquiry by the Sale Shark’s main sponsors – AJ Bell – appeared to put an abrupt end to the deal.

For Jackson the deal was reported to be in the region of £340,000 per annum, it is yet unclear how much Jacksons move to Perpignan is worth to the 26-year-old.

In other news: Savea completes Top 14 move

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Ireland returns for Jackson and Olding not ruled out