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Ireland captain Rory Best breaks silence on attending rape trial of teammates

Ireland captain Rory Best has broken his silence on his attendance at the trial of Ulster rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding in Belfast on Wednesday.

Ireland and Ulster player Paddy Jackson (26) and his teammate Stuart Olding (24) are accused of raping a woman in the bedroom of Jackson’s south Belfast home in June 2016. Jackson is facing an additional charge of sexual assault.

Both men deny all the charges.

Best said: “We sign out on a Tuesday night and Wednesday is our day off, so technically we don’t need permission to do stuff in on our time.

“The reason I was there is that it’s on the record that I have been called on as a character reference and I was advised that it was important that I got both sides of the story, so I could make an informed decision about that.

“And because it’s an ongoing legal matter I will not make any further comment other than that.”

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