Ulster rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding have been charged by the PSNI in relation to sexual offences that were alleged to have taken place in Belfast in June of last year.
As a trial has not yet been given a date, the decision to relieve both men of their duties while the process is ongoing has been agreed to by all parties.
This was confirmed in a statement issued by the IRFU on Tuesday evening.
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, the IRFU and Ulster Rugby have agreed that they will 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.
The PPS also released a statement outlining why the charges had been made, and stressing that as this process is ongoing it is of paramount importance that all involved are entitled to a fair trial.
Following a careful review of all of the available evidence, in accordance with our Code for Prosecutors, it has been decided that there is sufficient evidence to prosecute four individuals.
As the criminal proceedings against these individuals have commenced and each has a right to a fair trial, it is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice proceedings.
It is unclear as of yet when this trial will take place, but for the moment the IRFU, Ulster, and both players in question have reached an agreement in terms of duties and obligations as players for the remainder of the legal process.