Chris Farrell Sport Rugby France Ireland Chris Farrell Sport Rugby France Ireland

Chris Farrell steps away from Munster as he faces charges relating to alleged rape in France

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Munster and Ireland centre Chris Farrell has stepped away from his role with the province while legal proceedings in France relating to an alleged rape are ongoing.Farrell (29) is not charged with rape but faces a charge of "non-prevention of a crime".Three former Grenoble players, Irishman Denis Coulson, Rory Grice and Loick Jammes have denied rape allegations facing them and claim any contact they had with their accuser - a 21-year-old student - was consensual.The alleged incident took place in March 2017, following Grenoble's Top 14 loss to Union Bordeaux Begles.Farrell and Dylan Hayes, also both playing with Grenoble at the time, face the lesser charge of "non-prevention of a crime".On Thursday, the case was referred to the Assises Court of Gironde, and the players appealed that decision to the Bordeaux Court of Appeal, which subsequently upheld the referral of the case to the Assises Court, which is a criminal trial court.The players involved still have the right to appeal the decision to another court.A statement from Munster read: "Munster Rugby and Chris Farrell have agreed that, with immediate effect, he will be stepping back from his involvement with the Munster squad whilst legal proceedings in France, concerning his alleged involvement as a witness to an alleged crime in 2017, are ongoing."As this is an active legal matter before the French courts, we have no further comment."Tyrone native Farrell, who has 15 caps for Ireland, joined Munster from Grenoble in 2017, having started his career with his home province of Ulster.

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