RFU Respond To Sale Sharks Potentially Signing Jackson & Olding

Down to the individual.

Former Ulster outhalf Paddy Jackson is set to revive his professional rugby career in England with Sale Sharks, after agreeing a deal with the Premiership side.

The Telegraph are reporting Jackson has agreed a cut-price deal, confirming rumours that a deal was done with Steve Diamond’s side. They are also said to be close to agreeing a deal with his former teammate Stuart Olding.

Jackson, 26, and Olding, 25, had their contracts terminated by the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) last month despite being acquitted of rape after a nine-week trial.

It is believed both players were sacked as a result of the content of their WhatsApp messages which were made public during the trial, along with pressure from sponsors.

But what does the Rugby Football Union (RFU) think of the potential deal? Speaking to RugbyPass, RFU CEO Steve Brown said the matter was ‘down to individual’ clubs.

“I think it’s down to individual clubs,” Brown told RugbyPass’ Nick Heath.

“I don’t know the specifics of any kind of deals that are there or any negotiations but I think it is down to clubs themselves to make that call.

“I think it is a moral position that they need to take and it’s a difficult call when someone is found not guilty of something but there are other reasons why a union has taken a position on something. As I’ve said before – we take a very strong view to any kind of behaviour that would not be considered appropriate.

Brown says he respects the IRFU’s decision, but at the end of the day – the clubs in England have the final call, and the RFU will not stand in their way.

“It’s a case by case thing,” Brown added.

“I think the club has to make their own call. My view is that you’ve got to take it as it is and I think the Irish union did what they did and I respect that decision.”

You can watch Brown’s full interview with RugbyPass here.