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Oyonnax take decision on the future of medical joker Chris Farrell

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

Former Ireland midfielder Chris Farrell has secured a contract extension at the promotion-chasing Oyonnax, having originally joined the Pro D2 club as a medical joker. It was March 13, 10 days after he was released from his Munster contract, that the 30-year-old was unveiled as a short-term recruit by the French side for their end-of-season run-in.

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He has since made five starts at outside centre for Oyonnax, who finished the regular season on 111 points, 24 clear of the second-place Grenoble. They are now in the semi-finals on the weekend of May 19, awaiting the winners of this weekend’s Nevers-Vannes playoff.

A statement read: “Oyonnax Rugby club is proud to announce that centre Chris Farrell will continue the adventure, committing for the next two seasons until 2025. Arriving in Haut-Bugey at the beginning of March, the Irishman quickly convinced with his talent and professionalism.

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Angus Gardner on Head Contact processes

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Angus Gardner on Head Contact processes

“Having joined the Oyonnax squad following the injury of Gaby Lovobalavu, Farrell has played five games, scoring his first try in the match against Soyaux-Angouleme.

“An experienced Irish international (15 caps), he began his career in 2011 with Ulster before playing for the first time in France under the colors of Grenoble (75 games between 2014 and 2017). He then returned to his country, wearing the colours of Munster between 2017 and 2023.

“The club is proud to be able to count on an additional reinforcement, which is added to the recruitments of prop Ali Oz (Racing 92), second row Ewan Johnson (Vannes), centre Lucas Mensa (Stade Montois) and back Maxime Salles (Montauban).”

Farrell only played once with Munster in their 2022/23 campaign, the URC season-opener away to Cardiff. It was September 23, just days after that match, 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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