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Munster close to finalising Farrell but Taute set to leave the province

The Grenoble centre has spoken to Munster about joining next summer.

Grenoble's Chris Farrell looks set to join Munster.
Grenoble's Chris Farrell looks set to join Munster.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

MUNSTER LOOK CERTAIN to sign Grenoble centre Chris Farrell after the province confirmed they have held extensive talks with the Ulster native.

The deal has yet to be signed, but Munster coach Rassie Erasmus confirmed that the 23-year-old is on their wish list. He is now likely to join the province at the end of the current season, as reported by The42 in October.

Farrell has made 66 appearances for the French side since he joined them from Ulster in 2014, and Munster are keen to add his considerable skill and power to their midfield.

“Yeah, we’ve definitely discussed a lot of things with him,” said Erasmus. “Not everything has been sorted out yet, but he’s definitely one of the players on our radar.”

Farrell’s arrival in Limerick could cast doubts about Francis Saili’s long-term future with the province as his two-year contract expires at the end of the season.

Currently Saili is out injured and South African Jaco Taute has excelled in his absence, but the coach also confirmed that Taute’s time will end with Munster after Christmas and that no application has been made to bring him back after his contract with the Stormers ends.

No (we have not applied for his return). He is going back. He is still contracted with the Stormers so we only have him until 31 December. He was only here while Francis was injured, so he is going back,” said Erasmus.

The Munster coach has been buoyed by the early return of a number of international players from Ireland duty, including captain Peter O’Mahony, who looks certain to be left out of Saturday’s game with Australia.

O’Mahony has been joined at Munster training by the recently capped Billy Holland, Jack O’Donoghue and John Ryan, while fellow squad members Dave Kilcoyne and Darren Sweetnam are back in the province again. Rory Scannell was in attendance at Munster training yesterday, but he will link up with the Ireland squad today after their down day.

And Erasmus has been further boosted by the return of Jean Kleyn and Dave Foley to full fitness, both of whom are fit and available to face Treviso at Thomond Park this Saturday.

The news is not so positive for prop James Cronin, who has been ruled out of Munster’s upcoming Champions Cup double header against Leicester Tigers due to the chest injury he picked up against the Maori All Blacks.

“Yes, Jean is also ready. Yes he is training and the same with Dave Foley, he is also back,” said Erasmus.

(Cronin) it is just a pec muscle, a chest muscle. He’ll be three or four weeks. Apart from his suspension he has being having a bad run with injury.

“An injury there and then the suspension was a citing. He is frustrated and it is what it is. In three weeks’ time he should be really fresh having not played a lot.”

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