Irish Rugby Football Union and Ulster Rugby revoke Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding contracts

Paddy Jackson has been cleared of rape. PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images

Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding have had their contracts with Ulster and the Irish Rugby Football Union revoked.

Jackson and Olding were found not guilty last month of raping the same woman after a high-profile trial but other aspects of their behaviour have been heavily criticised, with major sponsors of Ulster Rugby having voiced concern.

The duo's departure was confirmed following an internal review into their conduct. The IRFU and Ulster Rugby review had focused on a series of sexually explicit WhatsApp conversations involving the players and their friends about the sexual encounter at the centre of the rape trial.

In a statement, the IRFU and Ulster Rugby said: "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.

"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."

Jackson expressed his disappointment after his sacking and in a statement to the Press Association he said: "I am deeply disappointed about the outcome of the IRFU and Ulster Rugby's internal review.

"However, I recognise that my behaviour has fallen far short of the values expected of me as an international player, a role model for the game of rugby and as a son and a brother. I am truly sorry.

"My focus in the months and years ahead will be on rebuilding the trust placed in me by people throughout Ulster and Ireland."

Olding also issued a statement expressing his regret.

It said: "It is with regret that I have been informed that the IRFU have decided to revoke my contract.

"As I said outside court following my acquittal, I am and will always be fiercely proud of having played for my province and country."