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“He Tends To Take Defenders Away From Me Which Is Great”

Rory Scannell Chris Farrell Munster

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There is an air of positivity around the Munster Rugby camp these days thanks in part to their three-game winning streak. 

Munster have won three games in succession before, but this time, due to the calibre of their opposition and the manner in which they dismantled their opponents, supporters of the southern province are now looking to the future with optimism.

W’s were registered against Leinster at home, Connacht away and Gloucester away; the southern province now find themselves in a position whereby if they beat the Exeter Chiefs on Saturday at Thomond Park, they will guarantee their progression to the quarter-finals of the Heineken Champions Cup, while they will need other results to go their way to secure a home tie.

Rory Scannell Chris Farrell Munster

Nevertheless, much of the positivity surrounding Johann van Graan’s side at the moment is the direct result of their attack which has looked a lot more expansive and dangerous in recent fixtures.

It’s little surprise that this has coincided with Chris Farrell’s return to the side. The huge outside centre, more often than not, gets over the gain-line and if he doesn’t, he at least sucks in defenders which opens up space for the rest of his teammates to attack.

Rory Scannell, who has partnered a variety of different centres this season, admits that he enjoys playing inside the 25-year-old Ulster native.

“His physicality is massive but he’s a very good ball-carrier, his skills are really good,” Scannell told the media on Monday.

“When you have a threat like that outside you, he tends to take the defenders away from me which is great. His communication on the field is vital, he is always giving you options and with Joey [Carbery] there too it is all combining nicely and you could see that on Friday night.”

Rory Scannell Chris Farrell Munster

Scannell admits that Munster let themselves down a bit with their attack last season and that it has been a ‘work on’ since the very beginning of 2018/19 campaign.

“We’re working on it every week since the start of the season. It was a bit of a work-on from last season and probably where we let ourselves down in the later part of the season. It’s definitely getting better in the last number of weeks.

“You’ve guys coming back to full fitness which helps. Joey Carbery is slotting in nicely. Chris Farrell is fully fit and back in the mix which is massive for us. I think we’re playing some good rugby at the moment and it is an important time of the year to be doing it.”

Munster’s sold-out clash with Exeter Chiefs kicks off at 5.30pm on Saturday and the southern province are currently sweating on the fitness of Peter O’Mahony who is rated “50-50” for the clash according to van Graan.

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email or on Twitter