Les Kiss Defends London Irish’s Decision To Sign Paddy Jackson
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London Irish head coach Les Kiss has defended the club’s decision to sign former Ireland international Paddy Jackson, following his controversial court case that saw him sacked by the IRFU.
Jackson and former teammate Stuart Olding both had their contracts terminated following their rape trial, with Jackson spending last season with French side Perpignan.
But his pending arrival has already caused problems, with a number of top sponsors, including Diageo, pulling their sponsorship of London Irish as a result of their signing of Jackson. But Kiss believes there it “more support than not” for Jackson.
“The bottom line is that if you look at everything, I think there is more support than not. That’s my view,” Kiss said in quotes published by the Irish Times,
“First and foremost Paddy is a good rugby player and it’s an opportunity for him to further his career. He saw that as a good opportunity.
“People will have their opinions on the back story and the past, but we believe what we are about and we believe we are doing the right thing.
“Things will be thrown at us I guess, but the story is about everyone – we have signed a lot of good players.
“Ultimately we are a team and we will go out and play that way and come what may we will stick together.”
Kiss knows Jackson well from his time with Ireland and Ulster, and says he’s a “quality footballer” and that’s all they’re focused on.
“Obviously I know Paddy and he’s a quality footballer so that is what we’re focused on.” Kiss added
“Ultimately that is what our conversation was about and where we will stay with it.
“The bottom line is it is a rugby club that is looking for good players and we have signed Paddy.
“I understand that this becomes a story but ultimately we want to make sure we focus on the right things.”