Diageo ends London Irish sponsorship

Diageo has pulled its Guinness sponsorship of English rugby club London Irish after it signed the disgraced Paddy Jackson.

The former Ulster and Irish international Jackson along with another player, Stuart Olding, was tried and eventually found not guilty of rape last year.

He has been playing in Perpignan since then but his former Ulster and Irish coaches Les Kiss and Declan Kidney are now at London Irish and have signed him to the club.

Diageo said in a statement: “We have met with the club to express our concerns. Their recent decision is not consistent with our values and so we have ended our sponsorship.”

Diageo’s flagship beer brand, Guinness, has been a sponsor of the club for around 40 years, the association even pre-dating the professional era.

The club said it was “understandably disappointed” with the decision.

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