‘It became very clear to me’ – Antoine Frisch declares his international allegiance

Jared Wright
Munster centre Antoine Frisch happy.

Munster centre Antoine Frisch happy.

Munster centre Antoine Frisch has declared his international allegiance as he currently qualifies to represent Ireland and France.

Born in Fontainebleau, France, Frisch qualifies for Ireland through his Irish grandmother and represented Emerging Ireland in 2022.

While Andy Farrell has stated that the 27-year-old is on his selection radar, Frisch has now revealed that he wants to play for France instead of Ireland.

This comes after he was called into France’s 2024 Six Nations squad following the suspension of Jonathan Danty.

France over Ireland

He did not make his Test debut for Les Bleus and is still free to play for Ireland if he wishes to do so but he has seemingly made up his mind.

“I have been in contact with Fabien Galthié for a long time and this contact has never been interrupted,” Frisch told French publication L’Equipe.

“From the moment I was called into the France group, it became very clear to me. I want to play for France.

“It’s where I grew up, I had a Les Bleus poster on the walls of my room as a child.”

Frisch is clearly in the selection frame for France, so he could make his Test debut for his country of birth during the July internationals as Les Bleus tackle Argentina.

This could have a knock-on effect for Munster, who would then have two non-Irish qualified (NIQ) centres on their books ahead of the 2024/25 season, having signed New Zealander Alex Nankivell from the Chiefs at the start of this season.

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Another setback for Munster

A similar situation occurred when Jean Kleyn opted to switch international allegiances back to the Springboks after four years without an Ireland cap. Munster were forced to allow fellow South African lock RG Snyman leave the side and he will now join Leinster at the end of the season.

Frisch is believed to be contracted to Munster until the end of the 2025/26 season but is attracting interest from Top 14 clubs.

Montpellier is one of the teams that said they would be interested in adding him to their payroll as they look to rebuild their squad after a relegation-threatening campaign this season.

Meanwhile, Toulon are currently in the market for a centre with doubts about Samoan international Duncan Paia’aua’s future, while Waisea Nayacalevu has signed for Sale Sharks.

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