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Farrell Ready For Centre Stage

5th September 2017 By The Editor

On his first competitive start for the province, Chris Farrell is tackled by Simone Farrari and Tommaso Allan.

On his first competitive start for the province, Chris Farrell is tackled by Simone Farrari and Tommaso Allan. ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

At 6’3” tall and weighing in at 110kg, new man Chris Farrell joined Jaco Taute, himself a midfield giant, in forming a formidable centre partnership in last weekend’s bonus point win over Benetton Rugby at Irish Independent Park.

The unfortunate injury to Dan Goggin aside, the Munster midfield stands in good stead at present, especially with the likes of Sammy Arnold and international Rory Scannell still to return to the fold. A 34-3 win, not a bad day at the office for one’s first competitive outing, but Farrell hopes last Friday was but a smidgen of what’s to come from him and his fellow backs this season.

“It was great to get the win and make the most of the opportunities that came our way in the first half. We let ourselves go in the second half a little, lost structure somewhat, but individually it was solid and hopefully we’ll get a few more opportunities in the coming weeks to show ourselves.

“Me and Jaco are a big centre pairing and we’re solid, but I think there’s more to come from us, as there is when the likes of Rory and Sammy come back into the mix.

“It’s been great so far here in Munster and, as I said, there is a hell of a lot more to come from this team and from the backline in particular. They boys here are extremely talented. Tyler (Bleyendaal) for example is calm and composed, JJ (Hanrahan) I know from U20s and I’m aware since then how skilful he is, and I know how clever James (Hart) is from our days in Grenoble. These guys combined with everyone else including the internationals and I have to say it’s really exciting to be playing alongside them.”

Saturday will not be the Ulster native’s first experience of Thomond Park, it will however be his first outing there in a red jersey, in a game of increased significance.

“I can’t wait to play in Thomond Park. Playing in front of that wonderful crowd in Cork last weekend was exciting and this will be the same again, if not more. I played a preseason friendly there a couple of seasons ago for Grenoble. Granted, that was a much smaller game and crowd, but I’ve seen enough of Munster, especially last season, to know what to expect with regards to the atmosphere in Thomond Park.

“As for the Cheetahs, they will be the first South African club team that I have played against but we have been doing analysis on them and I watched them again this morning – we know there is an unpredictability about them and they have individuals who can spark things from anywhere.

“That presents both challenge and opportunity – if we can right a few of the wrongs from last weekend’s second half performance and make the most of turnovers and counter attack, then maybe we can exploit their unpredictability.”

As regards the day-to-day, Farrell has no regrets since leaving the sunnier climes of France, Munster’s culture and facilities more than making up for the inevitably harsh Irish winters in which the game is played.

“It’s certainly different – the days are a lot longer here and the intensity is really up there. But that’s what I expected and it’s what I wanted when making the decision to come here. The facilities are top-class, you really look forward to coming in and that’s the best thing you can say about any job. From food to recovery it’s all fantastic and that’s definitely helped over preseason.

“I guess the French weather is one of the things I miss the most, but apart from that I don’t really miss having to listen so intently to conversations to know what’s being said – communication is so much easier now!”

Next Home Game

This Saturday, September 9th, Munster return to Thomond Park to face Cheetahs. Be there to witness history as the province take on South African opposition for the first time in competition – KO 5.15pm.

Adult tickets from €20 and Family tickets from €40 can be purchased online here.

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