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Ireland centre Farrell has new club just 10 days after Munster end contract

By Ian Cameron
Chris Farrell /Getty

Former Ireland and Munster centre Chris Farrell has a new club just over a week after he had his contract with the URC side effectively torn up.


Farrell has signed for Oyonnax in the French second flight after he was “released” from his contract by Munster just 10 days ago.

The former Ulster player has now signed as a medical joker with the ProD2 league leaders as they bid to mitigate a number of injuries in the backs, named a bicep tear for Gabiriele Lovobalavu.

Charges were brought against the 29-year-old for “failure to prevent a crime” relating to a rape case involving Grenoble players during his time at the French club.

His departure from Munster came after 23 weeks of suspension had left the 6’4, 110kg inside centre’s career in limbo. The process began when the Bordeaux Court of Appeal confirmed in September he had been charged with the alleged non-prevention of crime in the Grenoble rugby club rape case, which involves former teammates Rory Grice, Loic Jammes and Denis Coulson.

The trio are alleged to have raped a young woman following a night out after a Grenoble Top 14 match in Bordeaux in 2017.

Alongside the three primary defendants in the case, French magistrates also confirmed “the presence of sufficient charges” to charge two other players, New Zealander Dylan Hayes and Farrell for “non-prevention of crime”.


A brief statement from Munster last week read: “Munster Rugby and the IRFU can confirm that Chris Farrell has been released from the province to pursue a new playing opportunity. The 29-year-old has made 71 Munster appearances, scoring nine tries, since making his debut against Benetton in September 2017 and has represented Ireland on 15 occasions.”

Munster head coach Graham Rowntree said: “We wish Chris and his family all the best with his move and thank him for everything he has done during his time with us.”

Farrell is a talented player who has represented Ireland 15 times at the international level and who had become an integral part of the Munster setup. His suspension and departure from the Limerick-based side have effectively ended his Ireland career.



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