Farrell pleased to put his hand back up for selection

MUNSTER welcomed back several players in their 32-7 victory over Zebre at the weekend but it was the sight of Chris Farrell entering the field that will please a lot of fans. Farrell has been on the treatment table since March due to an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury picked up at Ireland training camp.

Guinness PRO14, Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Parma, Italy 25/11/2018
Zebre vs Munster
Munster’s Chris Farrell
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Matteo Ciambelli

It’s been a tough time for the centre with the healing process taking longer than expected but now Farrell is back in action again and is raring to go. “There was huge excitement at the weekend when I was close to coming on. Even just to get onto the pitch, even though it was very tricky conditions, it was great to get back out there. You get stuck in. You feel like a bit of a kid rolling around in the mud but it was fun. I wouldn’t say they were the best conditions to get back into playing but it was good.

Farrell is itching to get further game time ahead of a crucial six weeks for Munster with two games against Castres in the Champions Cup and vital Pro14 fixtures against Ulster, Leinster and Connacht all to come in quick succession. However, the former Ulster and Grenoble centre isn’t looking beyond Friday’s game with Edinburgh.

“You can’t get too ahead of yourself. For me it’s been eight and a half months since I played a game. Just to get involved any way I can. Whether that is against Edinburgh or when that’s going to be. That’s all I’m looking for is to put a few performances back to back and get a bit of confidence is where I need to be.”

Farrell’s time out of the limelight has opened the door for others to make a name for themselves with Ireland and Munster. Sammy Arnold and Dan Goggin have excelled in his and Jace Taute’s absence at centre and Farrell admits that there is huge frustration at times.

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Ireland Rugby Squad Training, Carton House, Co. Kildare 22/2/2018
Chris Farrell
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

“Of course. You always have ambitions of playing at the highest level and in those massive games that there were over the last few months and it is frustrating. You always want to be in a position to put your hand forward for those. There is a bit of frustration but once you get over that initially, you are just looking forward to getting back.”

Farrell’s return to full fitness has coincided with the comeback of Conor Murray, Ronan O’Mahony and Conor Oliver. All four got their first game time of the season against Zebre. With the vast injury list that has plagued Johann van Graan this season finally subsiding, Munster’s squad looks like one of the best around with depth quality in almost every position.

“There is a real buzz around this week. The internationals have come back and once they are back in this environment, they are not internationals anymore. That’s the mindset they have. They really add to the squad. There is so much competition. Look at our back row. Now you have Jaco back in the centre, me back, Sammy Arnold, now an international and Dan Goggin was playing fantastic before he got injured. There is so much quality there and we are going to need that in the next few weeks.”

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