MX23RW : Thursday, August 13 02:47:46| >> :600:561373:561373:

Paddy Jackson to join newly-promoted Premiership side London Irish

The fly-half joined Perpignan in the summer of 2018 after being acquitted of rape.

Ireland international Paddy Jackson will join newly-promoted London Irish ahead of next season.

The 25-times capped fly-half joined Perpignan in the summer of 2018 after being acquitted of rape alongside Ulster team-mate Stuart Olding.

The pair had their national-team contracts revoked by the Irish Rugby Football Union following the controversy over social media and text messages they had exchanged.

"I'm delighted to be joining London Irish next season at such an exciting and pivotal time for everyone involved with the club," Jackson, 27, told the official club website.

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

London Irish, who will play in the Gallagher Premiership next season after winning the Greene King IPA Championship, have former Ireland boss Declan Kidney as their director of rugby.

Rugby Union – RBS 6 Nations Championship 2013 – Ireland v France – Aviva Stadium
Former Ireland coach Declan Kidney gave Paddy Jackson his first Test cap in 2013 (Niall Carson/PA)

Head coach Les Kiss has also worked with Jackson with both the Ireland national team and Ulster.

"Players of the calibre of Paddy Jackson do not become available very often and both myself and Les are looking forward to working with him in the future," Kidney said.

"He is a player with proven international quality who we feel will add value to our squad, and it is pleasing that Paddy sees London Irish as a part of his future."

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Jack McGrath pictured in May 2017
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