Joe Schmidt May Be To Blame For Simon Zebo’s Move Says Luke Fitzgerald

Interesting theory.

Most of you are probably aware at this stage that Munster and Ireland star Simon Zebo is set to leave at the end of the season, in favour of a move to France. While his club has yet to be revealed, it’s believed he will be linking up with Donnacha Ryan at Racing 92.

While Zebo has made it no secret in the past that has always had aspirations to play in France, given he has family connections there and he speaks the language fluently, many were surprised at this decision to leave so close to a Rugby World Cup.

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Former Ireland and Leinster winger Luke Fitzgerald has an interesting hot take on that. He reckons while many players stay in Ireland because of the lure of international rugby, it’s quite the opposite for Zebo. He reckons the Munster back finds Ireland camp difficult because of his style of play and laid-back attitude.

Speaking on Independent.ie’s The Left Wing podcast, Fitzgerald said:

“He is a free spirit. I can’t see him coming back.”

“I think the tightness of Joe probably doesn’t suit him. I’ll be honest, from being in camp, it’s difficult for him in there.”

“He is relaxed, he is a relaxed guy. Joe is not. Joe is the complete opposite. He is looking at every single thing you do. Zebo is not. He is a free spirit.”

“I don’t think he enjoys it in there… That would be my honest read on it. I wouldn’t say he enjoys it in camp.”

“He (Schmidt) is on everything you do. He is brilliant at it. That is the strength of Joe, he is brilliant on the details. That wouldn’t be Simon’s strength. Simon is a flair guy. He is a guy with brilliant handling, he can come up with an offload. He is high risk, that is probably why it took Joe so long to say, he fits my eye now.”