Fivemiletown’s Chris Farrell made his full debut for Ireland on Saturday at the Aviva as a much changed Ireland narrowly defeated Fiji in the second autumn international of the series. 
Farrell produced a solid performance at centre as Joe Schmidt rang the changes and speaking afterwards to the Irish Times, the former Clogher Valley Youth and Fivemiletown College student says the experience has only whetted his appetite for more. 
“It (the whole day) was amazing I cannot describe the feeling when I was walking out to the pitch and the fireworks were going off; even in the Shelbourne 9hotel), I was getting emotional walking out and getting onto the bus. I definitely want more at some stage,” said Chris who left the Ulster academy for a senior contract at Grenoble and last summer after earning hugely valuable experience in the French Top 14 took up an offer from Munster to return to Ireland.
Chris added: “It was a detour to get here, I had to go to France and back, it was always in my goals to come back and get a chance to play at this level and thankfully that was the case. I have that now and hopefully can build on it as one cap is nothing so hopefully I can put in a few more performances.
“I was very young at the time [going to France] and it was purely to get game time and gain experience, build and grow as a player. Then I’d come back home, step up to this level, that was always my view and I was always going to come back.”
His midfield partner Stuart McCloskey was winning a second cap and there wasn’t a large body of playing experience as a pair for them to draw on; one game to be precise for Dungannon several years ago. Farrell said: “I guess it helped, I know Stuart quite well but we never played together at Ulster. We played maybe once at club level. It was really difficult out there, it was more difficult than I ever thought it was going to be and it was a really shock to the system.
“We bonded well and had a few nice phases together but we also lost a few balls together. When we came in at half-time there were 11 turnovers against us [the team] and that is not the standards we drive. That is the kind of thing that changes games, losing balls in key areas, and whenever you can’t put phases together because you can’t look after the ball, that is going to hurt you.”
While it was tough going for Farrell and his team-mates at times, he said Schmidt told them to keep playing. 
“It is great when a coach does that and backs you to use your skills and play expansively but we just didn’t look after the ball when we got into those areas and that is the disappointing thing. 
“It makes it extra special we had to ground it out and had to work really hard for it,” concluded Farrell who will no doubt be looking for more game time as the season progresses along side his burgeoning international career.