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Munster statement: The immediate effect release of Chris Farrell

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Eoin Noonan/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Munster have confirmed the immediate effect release of Chris Farrell nearly six months after the midfielder was stood down by the club. It was September 23, just days after the centre had started at No13 in the new season URC opener away to Cardiff, that the Irish province decided it would be best for the player to step back from involvement with the squad due to a legal case in France.

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Twenty-three weeks later, Munster and Farrell have officially parted company, paving the way for the Irishman to resume his playing career overseas.

A statement 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.”

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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.”

The process of Munster cutting their ties with Farrell, the soon-to-be 30-year-old, began after 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.

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At the time, French media outlets reported that a case against Rory Grice, Loic Jammes and Denis Coulson had 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 Farrell for “non-prevention of crime”.

A statement released by Munster in September 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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Turlough 2 hours ago
Jean de Villiers' three word response to 'best in the world' debate

This ‘raging’ debate is only happenning in media circles and has never been a topic in Ireland (although SA media are interested). It makes the media companies money I guess. SA are RWC champions and #1 ranked team although Ireland are back within a point there. The facts point to SA. For a lot of 2021 France beat ALL their rivals and Ireland similar in 2022-2023. It is not wrong to say that on such form either can be deemed to be the current best team if they have beaten all their rivals and ranked #1. The ‘have to have won a world cup’ stipulation is nonsense. The world cup draw and scheduling has been tailored to the traditional big teams since the start. The scheduling also which sees the big teams sheltered from playing a hard pool match the week before has also been a constant. It is extraordinary that for example France have made so many finals. Ireland who were realistically only contenders in 2023 were in a Pool with two other top 5 teams and had to play one of them 7 days before a quarter final against France or New Zealand. Always going to be a coin toss. Scotland’s situation was worse. New Zealand had great chances in 1995, 1999, 2007 but they could not win a tight RWC match. The first tight match they ever won was versus France in the 2011 final, literally they lost every other tight match before that. Some of those NZ teams around that era were #1 surely?

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