Updated: 31/01/18 : 09:02:58
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Irish rugby players rape trial continues in Belfast

A woman who claims she was raped by two Ireland rugby players is expected to give evidence at their trial today.

Paddy Jackson and his Ulster teammate Stuart Olding deny raping her at a house party at Jackson’s home in Belfast in June 2016.

In his opening address to the jurors yesterday, prosecuting barrister Toby Hedworth said this case concerns allegations of serious sexual misconduct by the first three defendants: Paddy Jackson, Stuart Olding and Blane McIlroy, and attempts by their friend Rory Harrison to cover up their conduct.

He said it would be alleged that Jackson raped her after pushing her onto his bed and that his Ireland and Ulster teammate Stuart Olding then came in and forced himself on her.

It is alleged that McIlroy, from Royal Lodge Road in Belfast, walked in with no clothes on in the hope of joining in and that the fourth accused Mr. Harrison from Manse Road in Belfast sought to cover up what he realised had happened and tried to mislead the police enquiry that followed.

Mr. Hedworth told the jurors they’d hear evidence of a WhatsApp message sent by the woman to Mr. Harrison a few hours later to say what happened was not consensual.

She is due to begin her evidence when the trial resumes this morning.