Two Ireland rugby players to go on trial for alleged Belfast rape

Paddy Jackson and his Ulster teammate Stuart Olding deny the charge

Two Ireland rugby players to go on trial for alleged Belfast rape

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

Two Ireland rugby players are due to go on trial later for the alleged rape of a woman in Belfast in 2016.

Paddy Jackson and his Ulster teammate Stuart Olding, who are both from Belfast, deny the charge.

Mr Jackson has played 25 times for Ireland. His co-accused Mr Olding has been capped four times.

Between them, they have made almost 200 appearances for Ulster - but both have been suspended until these proceedings are finished.

They are each accused of raping the same woman at a property in south Belfast on June 28th 2016.

Mr Jackson, who turned 26 earlier this month, is also facing one count of sexual assault.

24-year-old Blane McIlroy of Royal Lodge in Belfast has pleaded not guilty to one count of exposure and a fourth man, Rory Harrison from Manse Road in Belfast city, is accused of perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

Their trial is due to open this morning before a judge and jury at Belfast Crown Court.