Ireland returns for Jackson & Olding not ruled out

Former Ulster players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding could return to play for Ireland in the future, says IRFU performance director David Nucifora.

The players were unanimously found not guilty of rape after a nine-week trial earlier this year.

But their Ulster and Ireland contracts were revoked because of social media and text messages revealed in court.

In the build-up to Ireland’s third Test in Australia, Nucifora said: “I don’t think anything is ever forever.”

Jackson has joined Perpignan for next season, while former Ulster team-mate Olding recently signed for another French club, Brive.

Under current Irish RFU policy, they could only be considered for Ireland selection if they were playing for Irish clubs.

At a media event before Saturday’s decisive Test in Sydney, Nucifora was asked about a possible return for Jackson and Olding.

“Who knows what could happen or what will happen?” he told reporters.

“The players now have found new contracts so that is a positive for them personally, individually, and everyone just has to move on from that.

“For the immediate future, there’s no thought that they will be considered. They are playing overseas at the moment. If you are playing overseas, you are not considered.”

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