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Jackson Irish return closer after switch

 

Former Ulster fly-half Paddy Jackson
Former Ulster fly-half Paddy Jackson
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

Former Ulster fly-half Paddy Jackson has moved one step closer to a potential return to Ireland by joining Premiership side London Irish.

After a difficult time with Perpignan in France's Top 14, the 26-year-old has agreed to join the recently-promoted side where he will reunite with former Ulster Director of Rugby Les Kiss and the man who gave him his Ireland debut, Declan Kidney.

Jackson hasn't played in the United Kingdom since he and former Ulster team-mate Stuart Olding had their contracts revoked by the IRFU in April of last year after a review following a rape trial that saw both players unanimously acquitted of all charges.

But this move makes a return to Ireland more likely, particularly given the links between London Irish and Irish rugby.

The length of Jackson's contract at the Madejski Stadium has not been disclosed, however it is highly likely any potential return to Ireland would not occur until after its expiry, and even then there is no guarantee he would be welcomed back.

For now, the 25-times-capped Ireland international will focus on impressing for the Exiles and ensuring they remain in the Premiership next season.

Jackson commented: "I'm delighted to be joining London Irish next season at such an exciting and pivotal time for everyone involved with the club.

"London Irish have a vision for where they want to be and I look forward to being part of it."

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