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Jackson on way back to Ireland (for Euro Cup tie)

 

By Jonathan Bradley

Former Ulster out-half Paddy Jackson is set for a quick return to Irish soil after his new club Perpignan were drawn to face Connacht in next season's Challenge Cup.

The 26-year-old trained with his new team-mates for the first time this week and their visit to Galway could come as early as October.

Jackson has not played competitive rugby in almost a year, his last outing coming for Ireland against Japan on June 24, 2017.

His career was put on hold last year as he endured lengthy legal proceedings.

Jackson and former team-mate Stuart Olding were ultimately acquitted of rape in March after a nine-week trial, but still had their contracts revoked after an internal review conducted by Ulster and the IRFU.

This week IRFU High Performance Director David Nucifora refused to rule out a return to Irish rugby for the pair further down the line, with yesterday's draw bringing Jackson back, at least temporarily, far sooner than expected.

In the Champions Cup draw, Ulster were placed alongside last year's runners-up Racing 92 as well as Leicester Tigers and Scarlets.

Belfast Telegraph

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