'We'll see how hungry Zeebs is to start the season well, how he settles in'

Andy Farrell will look for Simon Zebo prove himself in Munster before any possible Ireland recall.

Simon Zebo has won 35 Ireland caps.
Simon Zebo has won 35 Ireland caps.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Updated Jun 15th 2021, 7:45 AM

ANDY FARRELL INDICATED that Simon Zebo will need to prove himself with Munster next season before any possible recall to the Ireland squad.

The Cork man is returning to his native province this summer after three years with Racing 92 in France.

Zebo scored a try off the bench in Racing’s victory over Stade Français in the Top 14 barrages stage last weekend to help the club into a semi-final away to Ronan O’Gara’s La Rochelle this Friday night. 

The 31-year-old has dotted down six times in his 13 starts for Racing this season and Ireland boss Andy Farrell said he has been watching Zebo closely.

However, he has opted against integrating Zebo back into the Ireland squad this summer ahead of his move to Munster. Instead, Farrell and his coaching staff will be keeping a close eye on how Zebo settles back into Irish rugby. 

“If he keeps on playing like he did against Stade Français the other week when he came on to that line and passed the ball out of the back of his hands – that’s the Zebo of old,” said Farrell.

“I suppose he’s not very old either. He’s not been getting much opportunity, a little bit more recently off the bench. He got some game time at the weekend, I’ve been watching all of his games.

“He’s doing pretty well, he’s in a big semi-final at the weekend. Do they get through to the final? Would he miss some time with us, etc.?

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“There are other guys who deserve a chance to be in our squad that’s been playing in and around Ireland over the last season that deserve a look.

“Zeebs will come back to Munster in pre-season, we’ll see how hungry he is to start the season well, how good a pre-season he has, how much he settles in as soon as possible.

“He’ll be a great option, because his passing game, his left-footed kicking game is exactly where it was.”

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