Ireland rugby stars to stand trial on rape charges

Both men are accused of raping the same woman in south Belfast last year

Ireland rugby stars to stand trial on rape charges

This composite image shows Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding | Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne/Billy Stickland

Two Irish international rugby players have been told they will stand trial on charges of rape.

25-year-old Paddy Jackson and 24-year-old Stuart Olding appeared in court for a preliminary investigation into the charges today.

It is the first time the pair were required to attend court since they were charged.

After considering legal arguments, District Judge George Conner ruled there was enough evidence to return them both for trial.

Both men are accused of raping the same woman at a property in south Belfast in June of last year.

Mr Jackson faces one charge of rape and one of sexual assault.

Mr Olding is charged with two counts of rape.

Both men deny all of the allegations against them.

The Irish Rugby Football Union and Ulster Rugby have banned both men from playing again until the court proceedings conclude.