Jackson and Olding understood to be leaving Ulster Rugby

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The careers of Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding have been under intense scrutiny since they were acquitted of rape

It is understood that Ulster Rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding are to leave the club.

In March, the pair were unanimously acquitted of all charges in a high profile Belfast rape trial.

However, their positions at Ulster Rugby had been under review since the trial ended.

There has been no official statement from the club, but more details are anticipated on Saturday.

On Friday evening, dozens of people staged a protest outside the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast ahead of Ulster Rugby's match against Ospreys.

Image caption,
A protest was held outside Ulster Rugby grounds during a match against Ospreys on Friday evening

The rally was organised by Belfast Feminist Network.

Its members said they were demonstrating against "an underbelly of sexism and misogyny in rugby".

Earlier in the week, an online petition calling for Ulster Rugby to reinstate Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding to the team had gathered thousands of signatures.

The Change.org petition said they should "be reinstated to the Ulster Rugby squad as soon as possible".

On Wednesday, former Ulster and Ireland captain Willie John McBride said the players should be allowed to return to their sporting careers.

Friday's game was the club's first home match since the end of the trial.