English Premiership side Sale Sharks set to sign Jackson and Olding

The UK-based Daily Telegraph was first to report the news last night.

ENGLISH PREMIERSHIP SIDE Sale Sharks on Wednesday morning looked set to give Paddy Jackson a chance to relaunch his professional rugby career next season, while Stuart Olding was thought to be on the verge of following him to the club.

Update 18.40: Sale Sharks insist there’s ‘no substance’ to Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding link

The news was first reported by The Daily Telegraph in the UK on Tuesday night, although Sale were not expected to confirm the signing until their season concludes.

Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding celebrate after the gameOlding and Jackson's contracts were revoked last month.Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Jackson and Olding's contracts with the IRFU and Ulster Rugby were revoked last month following a review into their behaviour in the wake of their acquittal on rape charges.

The IRFU and Ulster Rugby statement at the time highlighted the values of "respect, inclusivity and integrity," indicating that Jackson and Olding's behaviour had fallen short in those areas.

Jackson was subsequently linked with Top 14 side Clermont, but the French outfit released a statement stressing that they would not be making a move for the 26-year-old.

Olding was rumoured to be in talks with the Exeter Chiefs, but the Premiership club also distanced themselves from signing the 25-year-old.

Sale appeared set to give Jackson, and possibly Olding, a chance to return to the game, with the pair having missed the entirety of the current season.

Confirmation of the signing or signings by Sale Sharks is likely to be met with a mixed reaction from the club's supporters, although it is expected that an announcement will take place during the off-season.

With one game remaining in the Premiership regular season this weekend, Sale still have a chance to qualify into the Champions Cup for next season.

Even if they miss out, they will qualify for the Challenge Cup, where they could potentially meet an Irish team in the shape of Connacht or even Ulster, whose qualification for the Champions Cup remains in the balance.

Jackson has played for Ireland 25 times, while Olding has four caps, but it is not expected that either player will feature at Test level again.

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