IRFU Performance Director David Nucifora has not ruled out Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding returning to Ireland in the future.
The former Ulster Rugby duo had their contracts revoked in April due to the content of text messages exchanged in a WhatsApp group became public during the high-profile trial where both men were cleared on charges of raping a woman in Jackson’s home in the early hours of June 28th 2016.
Olding and Jackson have since signed for French clubs, and Nucifora, who spoke to the media at Ireland’s base in Sydney ahead of Saturday’s third Test, has not ruled out a return to Ireland for the players.
When asked whether they will be out of Ireland consideration for the rest of their careers, Nucifora told The Irish Times, “It’s not one for me to say but I don’t think we can make a comment on that. But I don’t think anything is ever forever, who knows what could happen or what will happen?”
For the immediate future, because the players are plying their trade overseas, they won’t be considered for selection, Nucifora states but the Australian admits that he hopes that everyone can move on from the situation which rocked Irish rugby.
“The players now have found new contracts so that’s a positive for them personally, individually, and everyone just has to move on from that.
“It was a tough year in regards to that for the players, for Ulster and for rugby in general. Hopefully, we don’t go through that ever again.”