Rory Best explains his reason for attending Jackson/Olding trial

Joe Schmist and Iain Henderson and Rory Best at Belfast Crown Court

A woman who alleges she was raped by Ireland and Ulster rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding has rejected a suggestion that she "watered down" her knowledge of the sport and its players, a court in Belfast has heard.

Ireland and Ulster player Paddy Jackson (26) and his teammate Stuart Olding (24) are accused of raping the woman in the bedroom of Jackson's south Belfast home in June 2016. She also revealed that around six months prior to the alleged incident, she briefly met Jackson in a Belfast pub where she was working in promotions.

She said the taxi was due to pick up another fare but took them and two other girls after Jackson told the driver who he was.

The woman and her friends attended the club as they were out celebrating the end of exams, whilst also in the same club were both Jackson and a group of friends, as well as members of the Northern Ireland football team.

At the party, she said she took a dislike to Blane McIlroy, the third accused man from Royal Lodge Road who denies one count of exposure.

She said: "The door opened and I turned round, saw it was a girl and turned back round again".

Belfast Crown Court heard that before she reported the alleged attack to police a friend advised her in a text message to pretend she did not know they were rugby players.

All four players deny the charges.

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Northern Ireland football team members were at the nightclub. "I have not watered down anything".

She said she was anxious that one of them had taken a photograph of her in the bedroom.

She told Mr Kelly she did not know the woman's name and thought it was "secondary" to the actual rape, and insisted she did not leave it out on objective.

Yesterday she gave her account of events at Mr. Jackson's Belfast Home on June 28.

"No, I don't follow football", she replied.

When asked if she was attracted at that time to celebrities, she responded: "No, I didn't even know who those people were".

On Friday, the fifth day of the trial, Mr Kelly quizzed her on her interest in rugby.

The case, scheduled for five weeks, is being heard by Judge Patricia Smyth.

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