‘I am disgusted and so disappointed’: London Irish fans vow to boycott club following signing of fly-half Paddy Jackson a year after he faced rape trial
- London Irish have confirmed the singing of Ireland fly-half Paddy Jackson
- Jackson was sacked by the Irish RFU after being acquitted of rape in 2018
- London Irish supporters have slammed the decision to hand Jackson a contract
London Irish fans have claimed they will not attend matches after the club announced the signing of Irish fly-half Paddy Jackson, who was acquitted of rape a year ago.
The 27-year-old will join the newly-promoted side next season from Perpignan.
Jackson was sacked by the Irish RFU in the wake of his trial – he was proven not guilty but the union took a dim view of misogynistic messages sent between Jackson and two other defendants.
London Irish have been criticised for signing former Ireland fly-half Paddy Jackson
And now Jackson is to join the Exiles, with some fans supporting the acquisition of a player who has won 25 caps for his country, while plenty were furious and used the #IBelieveHer hashtag which went viral during the trial last year.
One fan called Kate Boulton wrote: ‘As a patron member I am disgusted and so disappointed. Our team is a model of diversity and this signing goes against our values and principles. Very unlikely to renew my season ticket.’
Jackson was acquitted after trial for rape a year ago and was sacked by the Irish RFU
Another, Gary O’Reilly said: ‘I was looking forward to bringing my two-year-old daughter to a few games in the future. I will never even watch a game on TV again. What is God’s name is going on you thought this was an appropriate signing.’
Jackson declared himself ‘delighted’ with the move.
‘London Irish have a clear vision for where they want to be and I look forward to being part of it.’
London Irish director of rugby Declan Kidney said: ‘Players of the calibre of Paddy Jackson do not become available very often.’
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