Luckless Farrell remains sidelined with thigh problem

Johann van Graan reported no fresh injury concerns from the defeat in Castres.

CHRIS FARRELL’S INJURY frustration continues as the Munster centre has been ruled out of this weekend’s Guinness Pro14 inter-pro against Ulster as he battles with a thigh problem.

The luckless centre, only just back from a long-term knee injury, missed the Heineken Champions Cup double-header against Castres after pulling up in the warm-up ahead of the round three game at Thomond Park.

Chris Farrell Farrell was only two games into his comeback before injury struck again. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Farrell will again sit out this weekend as Johann van Graan’s side make the trip to Belfast for the first of three consecutive Pro14 derbies over the Christmas and New Year period, but the Munster head coach is hopeful the Ireland international will be back for the clash against Leinster on 29 December.

The southern province incurred no fresh injury concerns from Saturday’s Pool 2 defeat to Castres, and they could be boosted by the return of Jean Kleyn, Darren Sweetnam and Dan Goggin this weekend.

Kleyn has recovered from a thumb injury he sustained against the Cheetahs last month, while Sweetnam and Goggin are due back in training this week after shaking off back and knee problems.

Ireland wing Sweetnam has been sidelined since sustaining the injury during the first half of the November international win over USA, but could make a timely return at Kingspan Stadium on Friday night [KO 7.35pm, eir Sport/Premier Sport].

Sweetnam, who last week signed a two-year contract extension with Munster, hasn’t featured for the province since the round seven victory over Glasgow Warriors in October.

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James Cronin (leg) Rhys Marshall (hamstring), Jack O’Donoghue (knee), Dave O’Callaghan (foot) and James Hart (knee) remain unavailable, with van Graan set to shuffle his pack for the trip north. 

Munster sit second in Conference A behind Glasgow and are bidding to extend their Pro14 winning run to five games, before welcoming defending champions Leinster to a sold-out Thomond Park after Christmas.   

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Ryan Bailey

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