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Munster line up Tom Farrell to replace Antoine Frisch

By Neil Fissler
Tom Farrell of Connacht during the United Rugby Championship Quarter-Final match between Ulster and Connacht at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Munster are understood to have lined up Connacht’s long-serving former Ireland under-20 international outside centre Tom Farrell to replace Toulon-bound Antoine Frisch.

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Frisch is in advanced discussions with Toulon over a four-year deal, and Munster have been trying to land a replacement before allowing the Irish-qualified Frenchman to leave for the Cote d’Azur.

They had been chasing Leicester Tigers England international Dan Kelly, who becomes Irish-qualified in July, but a deal was problematic because he is under contract to the Tigers next season.

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They had also looked at Piers O’Conor, but Bristol Bears announced that the former Ealing Trailfinders centre, who has made 138 appearances for Pat Lam’s side, would be moving to Galway.

Dublin-born Farrell, 31, started his career with Lansdowne, Leinster A, London Irish and Bedford Blues before moving to the injury-hit reigning Pro12 Champions in January 2017.

He has made over 100 appearances for Connacht but is under pressure from younger players in David Hawkshaw and Cathal Forde, who are pushing him down the pecking order.

There were even rumours that Farrell, who was touted to win a full Ireland cap in 2019 when he was called up for the opening rounds of Six Nations, could even retire after not being offered a contract by Connacht.

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It has been suggested that Munster have put a two-year contract on the table to tempt Farrell into continuing his career, with discussions now believed to be at an advanced stage.

Farrell has made 12 appearances for Connacht this season, eight in the United Rugby Championship, scoring two tries against Ulster in November and Zebra on April 20th.

He also came off the bench in their European Challenge Cup quarter-final defeat in Benetton last month after making two appearances in the Champions Cup earlier this season.

Munster are set to host Farrell’s Connacht this weekend in the URC in Thomond Park.

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