Simon Zebo makes very interesting observation regarding his Ireland career


Munster fullback Simon Zebo is set to hang up his boots at the end of the season after a hugely successful career with the southern province.

Zebo is in his second spell at Munster, having left them in 2018 to sign for Racing 92, before returning to his home club back in 2021 after a hugely successful spell with the French side.

The 34-year-old left Munster largely because he was consistently overlooked by Ireland, despite racking up 35 caps between 2012 and 2017 and featuring for the British and Irish Lions in 2013.

Zebo’s style of play didn’t quite fit Joe Schmidt’s rigid Ireland structure at the time and speaking this week ahead of Munster’s URC quarter-final clash with Ospreys, the Cork native reckons things might have been a little different had his Ireland career come a little later.

With back-three players like Mack Hansen and James Lowe given the license to roam and be creative in the current set-up, Zebo reckons he would have fit right in.

“I would have loved to [have played more with Ireland], but it is what it is,” Zebo said.

“You see how Mack Hansen behaves, other people, and they’re totally comfortable and at ease. I was doing that when it was different, let’s just say that!

“It’s funny, I love Andy and I’ve always loved working with him, all the way back to the Lions, and I would have loved to have had more time with him…

“I never limited myself to anything or ability to play at any level. But at the same time, the journey has been incredible.

“In the old days, I would have been getting a few queer looks from [Ronan] O’Gara, [Paul] O’Connell, John Hayes, Alan Quinlan, the list goes on and on.

“But after a few months training they see that’s how you operate and they see my ability and then they’re like, ‘OK’. There’s no judging.”

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