A “freaky” training ground incident is what caused Chris Farrell to be ruled out of today’s Heineken Champions Cup clash between Munster and Ospreys at Thomond Park.
Munster secured a bonus-point 33-6 victory to sign off their European campaign on a high but they did so without the services of Farrell who was withdrawn from the starting XV before kick-off.
Sammy Arnold came straight into the starting side in his place and the southern province confirmed before kick-off that Farrell suffered a “knee contusion” in training.
Munster head coach Johann van Graan, when speaking to the media after the game, revealed that there was a collision between Farrell and Chris Cloete in training which caused the duo to be missing from today’s game.
“You saw this week, one or two freaky things happen and guys are out of the team and the next guy steps in,” van Graan began.
“That was pretty freaky, it was just a move off a lineout and two Chrises, Cloete and Farrell, ran into each other. It was a knee to a hip. Both guys really struggled and Chris Cloete didn’t warm-up today as No 24.
“So, yeah, Chris is literally a bang to the knee and he didn’t have enough time to recover. We gave him until today, but unfortunately, he didn’t make it.”
Of course, this will be of major concern to new Ireland head coach Andy Farrell.
The Ireland squad will depart for Portugal next week for a warm-weather training camp ahead of their Six Nations opener with Scotland on February 1 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Another worry for Farrell will be the fitness of Andrew Conway. The in-form winger departed for a HIA in the first half of today’s clash but didn’t return.
“Obviously, he’s [Conway] going to go into the international team now, so, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see on him,” van Graan said.
“Out of the game, Craig [Casey] came back, Conor [Murray] came back. I don’t think there was anything else serious. Pete [O’Mahony] came out of the game well, Billy [O’Mahony] came out of the game well.”