Diageo, the parent company of Guinness, has said it has ended its sponsorship of English rugby club London Irish over its signing of Paddy Jackson.

In a statement, the company said: "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."

The company and the club had been in discussions about the arrangement after concerns were expressed about the former Ulster and Ireland out-half joining the Premiership team.

London Irish responded that they were "understandably disappointed that Diageo has chosen not to renew its sponsorship agreement with the club, and particularly the manner in which the company has chosen to do so".

In a statement, the club said an offer to meet with Diageo senior management was not taken up last month and that they would continue "without the support of Diageo, who have chosen to stand down after a nearly 30-year association with the club".

"It is regretful that this relationship has ended in the manner that it has."

Jackson's IRFU contract was cancelled in the aftermath of the player being found not guilty in a high-profile rape trial in 2018.

A review undertaken by Ulster and the IRFU focused on a series of sexually explicit WhatsApp conversations involving Jackson and his then team-mate Stuart Olding and their friends about the sexual encounter at the centre of the trial.

The messages, which referred to women in derogatory terms, were presented as evidence during the marathon nine-week trial at Belfast Crown Court.

Jackson subsequently moved to France to play with Perpignan in the Top14.

In May, London Irish, who won the second tier Championship in England, announced they had signed the 27-year-old.

Earlier, this month, the Cash Converters firm pulled its sponsorship from London Irish, saying "as a company we are committed to the highest possible standards when it comes to our investments in any sponsorships".

The club said that the decision was unrelated to the signing of Jackson.