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Jurors are continuing to hear evidence in the rape trial of two Ireland and Ulster rugby players, as audio recordings are played to the court.

Paddy Jackson, 26, and Stuart Olding, 24, both deny raping a woman at Mr. Jackson's Belfast residence in 2016.

The court has so far heard statements from a number witnesses, including the victim herself, who addressed the judge and jury from behind a blue curtain so she didn't have to face her alleged abusers.

Jurors have now been presented with audio recording of the police interviews which took place just two days after the alleged rape.

During question, Olding told the PSNI's rape crime unit that he “didn't penetrate her vagina with my penis at any point."

He also told detectives that he did not see Jackson penetrate the woman.

"I didn't see that," he said.

During further questioning, Olding added: "I didn't see Paddy penetrating her from behind. He was behind her but I didn't see him penetrating her."

He also rejected claims that he forced the victim to perform oral sex and when asked by police what made him believe she had given consent, he said: “She was doing it. I wasn't forcing her.”

Meanwhile, a juror in th trial had been discharged due to illness. The 11 remaining jurors will continue to hear the evidence presented from both sides.

The trial is expected to conclude in mid-March. 

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Trigger Warning: This article contains descriptions of rape and sexual assault.

The trial of Ireland and Ulster rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding continues today. 

The men, aged 24 and 26, are accused of raping and sexually assaulting a then 19-year-old at a Belfast residence in 2016. 

Both men deny the charges against them. 

A third man faces a sexual offence charge and a fourth is to be charged with intent to pervert the course of justice.

Yesterday, the alleged victim gave an account of her experience at the hands of the sportsmen. 

She claimed that she was forced to perform oral sex on one man while being raped by the other simultaneously, and that she was raped by both men in turn. 

Giving evidence behind a screen, the alleged victim broke down while giving her testimony, according to The Journal

She also claims she was left with injuries following the alleged attack.

When asked why she was now coming forward with her claims, she said: 'Because the more I thought about it… Rape is a game of power and control.'

'They rely on your silence, and you take the power back over the situation when you actually do something about it.'

The trial will continue today, and the alleged victim will be cross examined.

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Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding are due in court this morning to face rape charges.

The Ulster and Ireland rugby players have strongly denied the allegations made against them, with Stuart Olding's solicitor saying he “is anxious to clear his name in court.”

Jackson, 25, is charged with one count of rape and one count of sexual assault. Olding, 24, is charged with two counts of rape against the same woman.

The assault is alleged to have taken place in Belfast in June of last year.

Four men were arrested and questioned in relation to the incident last summer, however, they were released pending a report being submitted to prosecuters in Northern Ireland.

The two other men have been charged with lesser counts of exposure and perverting the course of justice.

The IRFU and Ulster Rugby have relieved the player from their duties until the court process is over.

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Ulster and Irish rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding are among four men to have been charged by the PSNI in relation to an alleged rape. 

Four men questioned about the incident, which is alleged to have taken place in Belfast in June of last year, are to be prosecuted, according to the Public Prosecution Service.

Both men have denied the charges and a solicitor acting on Jackson's behalf said he was “very disappointed” with the verdict.

Jackson, 25, and Olding, 24, face a rape charge while a third man faces a sexual offence charge and a fourth is to be charged with intent to pervert the course of justice.

"We are very disappointed at the decision of the PPS to prosecute given the particular circumstances and facts known in this case.

"Our client rejects completely the allegations made against him and we are confident he will be exonerated in due course."

A joint statement from Ulster Rugby and the IRFU read:

"The IRFU and Ulster Rugby are aware that Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding have been charged by the PSNI in relation to serious allegations made against them.

"The players have cooperated fully and strenuously deny the charges."

"The IRFU and Ulster Rugby take these allegations extremely seriously."

"To allow the players time to address this matter fully Ulster Rugby and the IRFU have agreed that they be relieved of their duties and obligations until the conclusion of this process.  Appropriate support structures will be put in place with them during this time."

"As this is a matter for the Public Prosecution Service it would be inappropriate to comment further."

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