Simon Zebo tells brilliant story on the toughest player he ever faced
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“This fella is just on another planet!”
We were lucky enough to sit down and have a chat with Munster and Ireland winger Simon Zebo recently about all things rugby, and he got to telling us some great stories.
Zebo has had an impressive career to date with the likes of Munster, Ireland and Racing 92, playing alongside and against some of the very best players the game has ever seen.
When asked about the best player he has ever played alongside, the 33-year-old didn’t hesitate when he named former France international Virimi Vakatawa, who played alongside Zebo at Racing.
“Virimi Vakatawa, for sure, for sure.” Zebo told us.
“I’ve just never seen anything like him. I’ve been lucky enough to have been able to watch him at training every day, I swear to god. I mean I consider myself very skilful, but he is just in another world! Oh my god.
“Everything like, his left to right pass, right to left pass, his little grubber kicks, his tackling, his jackalling, his try-scoring – there’s nothing he can’t do.
“Just throw the ball to Virimi, that was our game plan. Just throw the ball to Virimi.
But who is the toughest/best player Zebo has ever played against?
“Antoine Dupont,” Zebo said once again without hesitation.
“I think, already, the best player I’ve ever seen. Better than any player. Way better than any player I’ve ever seen.
“I’ve never seen someone as good as him. It’s insane what he can do on the pitch. And you’re on the pitch playing against him, how nervous he makes you all the time. There’s just an aura around him. Everything he touches turns to gold. He kicks left foot, right foot with ease. 60 metre kicks off his left leg finding 50/22s…
“His passing, strength, he’s like a back-rower!”
Zebo went on to tell a brilliant story of coming up against Dupont on the pitch and very much coming out second best against the France and Toulouse scrumhalf.
“I remember playing Toulouse away,” Zebo said.
“And I caught a ball in the 22 and I counter-attacked because we were losing. And I ran… and I promise you, as hard as I could.
“I went out of my way to make it a one-on-one contest. I ran as hard as I could at him and he hits me with a shoulder, and at the same time he strips the ball from me, turns around and runs that way.
“And I’m like ‘What has just happened?’ – it just summed him up. This fella is just on another planet!”
Vodafone Ireland recently launched a brand new 5G Stadium App. Fans attending the Bank of Ireland Nations Series games against Italy and England at Aviva Stadium can access this new 5G Stadium App, which utilises augmented reality (AR) and live performance tracking to show game and player stats in real-time to deliver an enhanced fan experience.