Controversial fly-half Paddy Jackson confirms new club after departing London Irish - Ruck

Controversial fly-half Paddy Jackson confirms new club after departing London Irish

In an interesting turn of events, former Ireland out-half, Paddy Jackson, has found a new home in France’s Top 14 league with Lyon.

The 31-year-old star has been without a club since London Irish unfortunately folded, but his fortunes are set to change with a potential career lifeline from the big-spending Lyon side.

Jackson, renowned for his skill and precision on the field, boasts an impressive international career, having represented Ireland 25 times between 2013 and 2017. Prior to his move to Lyon, he spent a fruitful season in Perpignan during the 2018/19 campaign. However, his journey hasn’t been without its challenges.

Back in 2018, Jackson faced a tumultuous period when his contract with Ulster and the IRFU was revoked in the aftermath of a high-profile Belfast trial.

Despite being found not guilty of rape alongside his teammate Stuart Olding, the fallout resulted in their departure from the team. Undeterred by the setback, Jackson ventured to the south of France, joining Perpignan for a year before making his way to London Irish.

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Under the guidance of former Ireland coach Declan Kidney, Jackson flourished during his time with London Irish, amassing an impressive tally of 91 appearances for the Exiles.

His contributions to the team were invaluable, and he emerged as the Premiership’s top points’ scorer in the previous season. However, the club faced financial difficulties this year, ultimately leading to their administration and leaving Jackson without a club once again.

Seven England stars in line for summer transfers including Watson, Smith, and Vunipola

Here are seven English rugby stars who have yet to confirm their future destinations after the conclusion of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

#1. Marcus Smith

After the World Cup, Racing 92, the esteemed French rugby club, has expressed their interest in acquiring the services of Smith, initiating discussions about a potential move to Paris.

According to the Mail Online, Smith has a year remaining on his contract at Harlequins but Racing are exploring the option of a buy-out to land him next season.

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Finn Russell’s departure for Bath during the summer has prompted Parisian club to identify Marcus Smith as an exciting replacement, particularly after his impressive performance at La Defense Arena in the Champions Cup.

Currently earning approximately £450,000 per season as a player for Harlequins in the Premiership, Smith could become one of the highest-paid players globally if he makes the move.

The Rugby Paper had previously reported Racing 92’s keen interest in signing the talented playmaker at the conclusion of the 2023/24 season.

Racing, who will be coached by former England boss Stuart Lancaster, have already confirmed the signing of South Africa captain Siya Kolisi for next season.

There are unconfirmed reports that Smith faces a battle to make England’s World Cup squad following the re-emergence of George Ford.

Marcus Smith of Harlequins looks dejected after losing during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Exeter Chiefs and Harlequins at Sandy Park on 25th September 2022. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

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