It looks as though the door on Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding's international rugby career has not been locked shut, that's according to David Nucifora, performance director and senior administrator with the IRFU.
The Times is reporting that Nucifora was asked if Jackson and Olding had been permanently ruled out of the national team since having their contracts terminated by the IRFU and Ulster Rugby after being acquitted for rape.
“I don’t think we can make a comment on that. But I don’t think anything is ever forever. Who knows what could happen?
“For the immediate future, there’s no thought that they will be considered. They are playing overseas so at the moment if you’re playing overseas, you’re not considered.
"The players have found new contracts so that’s a positive for them, personally, and everyone just has to move on from that. It was a tough year for the players, for Ulster and for rugby in general. Hopefully, we don’t go through that ever again.”
Both Jackson and Olding are playing outside of Ireland at the moment. Olding signed a two-year contract with French side Brive while Jackson signed for Perpignan, also a club in France, on two-year deal.
The pair were reported to have signed for English club Sale Sharks but this was categorically denied by the club.