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Ulster's Craig Gilroy has also now learned his fate as IRFU release statement

By Ian Cameron
Craig Gilroy (R)

Ulster wing Craig Gilroy has been spared the axe for by the IRFU, who have instead chosen to sanction the player over the sending of a text message.

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The IRFU have stated: “Following a review of a text message sent by Craig Gilroy, the Irish Rugby Football Union and Ulster Rugby have sanctioned him, following a disciplinary process in accordance with the terms of his contract.

“Craig will be unavailable for team selection until 26th April 2018.”

Gilroy was revealed as a participant and sender of a Whats Apps message, details of which were revealed as part of the 9 week rape trial of Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding.

It is understood Gilroy sent a message asking Olding: “Any sluts get f***ed?”.

Earlier this morning Ulster Rugby and the IRFU revealed that they have revoked Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding’s contract with immediate effect.

A joint statement from the organisations reads:

“Following a review, conducted in the aftermath of recent court proceedings, the Irish Rugby Football Union and Ulster Rugby have revoked the contracts of Patrick Jackson and Stuart Olding with immediate effect.

“In arriving at this decision, the Irish Rugby Football Union and Ulster Rugby acknowledge our responsibility and commitment to the core values of the game: Respect, Inclusivity and Integrity.

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“It has been agreed, as part of this commitment, to conduct an in-depth review of existing structures and educational programmes, within the game in Ireland, to ensure the importance of these core values is clearly understood, supported and practised at every level of the game.”

Despite a jury finding the pair not guilty of rape at Laganside District Court, they will now have to look outside of Ireland for employment.

The two, who were banned from playing pending the trial, had pleaded not guilty to charges over the alleged incident on June 28, 2016.

The decision to part ways with the players comes after the IRFU and Ulster Rugby conducted an internal review following Jackson and Olding’s acquittal last month.

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The review focused on a series of explicit group text conversations involving the players and their friends, which was revealed during the trial.

Two other men, Blane McIlroy, 26, and Rory Harrison, 25, were also acquitted of their respective charges in relation to the case.

The incident has sparked protests outside the club grounds, and several club sponsors have expressed concern following the case.

Yesterday, Ulster sponsor Bank of Ireland issued a statement to the Irish Independent.

“As a sponsor of Ulster Rugby, Bank of Ireland is highly concerned regarding the serious behaviour and conduct issues which have emerged as a result of the recent high profile trial. The Bank has formally conveyed these concerns to the CEO of Ulster Rugby,” the statement read.

“It is of paramount importance to Bank of Ireland that our sponsorship activity aligns with and supports our core values, and reflects positively on Bank of Ireland through association”.

26-year-old flyhalf Jackson has made 25 appearances for Ireland since 2013, while 25-year-old Olding has made four.

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mitch 1 hours ago
The Wallabies team Joe Schmidt must pick to win back Bledisloe Cup

Rodda will be a walk up starter at lock. Frost if you analyse his dominance has little impact and he’s a long way from being physical enough, especially when you compare to Rodda and the work he does. He was quite poor at the World Cup in his lack of physicality. Between Rodda and Skelton we would have locks who can dominate the breakdown and in contact. Frost is maybe next but Schmidt might go for a more physical lock who does their core work better like Ryan or LSL. Swain is no chance unless there’s a load of injuries. Pollard hasn’t got the scrum ability yet to be considered. Nasser dominated him when they went toe to toe and really showed him up. Picking Skelton effects who can play 6 and 8. Ideally Valetini would play 6 as that’s his best position and Wilson at 8 but that’s not ideal for lineout success. Cale isn’t physical enough yet in contact and defence but is the best backrow lineout jumper followed by Wright, Hanigan and Swinton so unfortunately Valetini probably will start at 8 with Wright or Hanigan at 6. Wilson on the bench, he’s got too much quality not to be in the squad. Paisami is leading the way at 12 but Hamish Stewart is playing extremely well also and his ball carrying has improved significantly. Beale is also another option based on the weekend. Beale is class but he’s also the best communicator of any Australian backline player and that can’t be underestimated, he’ll be in the mix.

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