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Chris Farrell stood down by Munster over French court case

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Ireland midfielder Chris Farrell has been stood down with immediate effect by Munster after the Bordeaux Court of Appeal confirmed on Thursday he had been charged with the alleged non-prevention of crime in the Grenoble rugby club rape case.

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French media outlets have reported that the case against Rory Grice, Loic Jammes and Denis Coulson has been referred to the criminal court following allegations that a young woman was raped following a night out after a Grenoble Top 14 match in Bordeaux in 2017.  

The magistrates also confirmed “the presence of sufficient charges” to charge two other players, the New Zealander Dylan Hayes and Irishman Farrell for “non-prevention of crime”.

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None of the five players are still at Grenoble. Grice and Jammes currently respectively play for Oyonnax and Provence in French Pro D2, Coulson has fallen away from the professional rugby scene while Hayes is at Valence Romans, the Nationale level club. 

Farrell, meanwhile, has gone on to win Ireland honours since his 2017 move to Munster, being capped 15 times and featuring in the 2018 Grand Slam win and at the 2019 World Cup in Japan. He played 59 minutes of Munster’s URC new-season opener at Cardiff last Saturday but now won’t be involved with the Irish province for the foreseeable future. 

A statement released by the club read: “Munster Rugby and Chris Farrell have agreed that, with immediate effect, he will be stepping back from his involvement with the Munster squad whilst legal proceedings in France, concerning his alleged involvement as a witness to an alleged crime in 2017, are on-going. As this is an active legal matter before the French courts, we have no further comment.” 

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