Exeter dismiss reports linking them to Stuart Olding

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Exeter Chiefs have dismissed reports linking them to Stuart Olding

Exeter have rubbished reports linking the Aviva Premiership leaders with a move to sign former Ulster and Ireland centre Stuart Olding.

Forwards coach Rob Hunter insisted Olding is “not on our radar at all”, following Exeter’s 45-5 league win at London Irish on Sunday.

Paddy Jackson and Olding had their Ulster and Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) contracts revoked on Saturday, following an internal review into their conduct. The duo were acquitted last month of raping the same woman after a high-profile Belfast trial.

Asked to comment on reports linking Olding with the Chiefs, Hunter replied: “I can tell you what I know, which is absolutely nothing.

“It’s not something that we’ve discussed in the office.

“So it’s another one of those where we’ve been linked to somebody but we’ve not spoken to an agent and we’ve not spoken to a player.

“It’s not on our radar at all. We get linked to lots of players, it’s just not on our radar, it’s nothing to do with us really.”

The IRFU and Ulster Rugby confirmed the sackings of Jackson and Olding on Saturday, following a review that had focused on a series of sexually explicit WhatsApp messages involving the players and their friends about the sexual encounter at the centre of the rape trial.

In a statement on Saturday, the IRFU and Ulster Rugby said: “Following a review, conducted in the aftermath of recent court proceedings, the Irish Rugby Football Union and Ulster Rugby have revoked the contracts of Patrick Jackson and Stuart Olding with immediate effect.

“In arriving at this decision, the Irish Rugby Football Union and Ulster Rugby acknowledge our responsibility and commitment to the core values of the game: respect, inclusivity and integrity.

“It has been agreed, as part of this commitment, to conduct an in-depth review of existing structures and educational programmes within the game in Ireland to ensure the importance of these core values is clearly understood, supported and practised at every level of the game.”

Former Ireland coach Declan Kidney refused to comment when asked if London Irish would be interested in signing either of Jackson or Olding.

“I know one of those individuals well obviously and I wouldn’t like to comment on anything to do with that case at the moment,” said Kidney.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate, I think there’s enough of a media frenzy rather than me adding anything to it.” 

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