Declan Kidney Explains Decision To Not Bring Paddy Jackson To Ireland For Munster Game
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London Irish boss Declan Kidney says his decision to not include Paddy Jackson in his travelling squad for their pre-season game with Munster in Cork has “absolutely nothing to do with protests or anything like that.”
The former Ireland head coach says it was a “pure rugby decision” not to bring him, noting they have a large squad and the fact that it’s only a friendly fixture. He also added that Jackson began his pre-season later because he was in France.
It has been speculated that the controversial figure was left out of the trip to Ireland because of the spotlight that would be on him over his still controversial Belfast Rape Trial that saw both Jackson and Stuart Olding sacked by Ulster and the IRFU, despite the fact that they were found not guilty by the jury.
“It has absolutely nothing to do with protests or anything like that,” Kidney at the launch of the Gallagher Premiership season
“As a matter of fact, the players all knew about the squad that would be travelling long before any of that came to light. It’s a pure rugby decision.
“We have lots of out-halves, we have lots of props. We have six props available, only four of them can play. We have three out-halves, only two of them can play.
“And it’s a friendly fixture, too, with all due respect, and there are other reasons, too. Paddy was in France so he started his pre-season later than others,”
Kidney added Jackson is a “good player” and that that Irish want to see him fulfil his potential.
“Two years ago he was playing for Ireland in Japan, three years ago he was playing against the Springboks. He is a good player and we just want him to fulfil his potential,” added Kidney