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Dublin: 3°C Tuesday 26 January 2021

'Munster know what needs to improve and it's not about talent' -- Zebo

The winger says the squad will be aiming to bring a much greater physical presence to their game next time out.

SIMON ZEBO IS usually the beneficiary rather the one leading the charge when it comes to collective physicality in the Munster side, but the whole squad will be singing off the same hymn-sheet this week.

After Friday’s defeat, the new Munster coaching staff got together on Sunday to examine the footage and their conclusion was just as it was on Friday night: there just wasn’t enough physicality.

“Bullied would be the right word,” Zebo told RedFM’s Big Red Bench as the squad trained in Cork today.

Simon Zebo Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“We just didn’t bring the physicality we’re used to at Thomond Park. It’s disappointing because we wanted to get a bit of momentum going and we have to go out and look for it in a tough game this weekend.”

That tough game will take place in Italy against a Treviso side who have attacked Munster like a derby fixture in recent years. The southern province will welcome back a small selection of internationals into the mix for the trip, but almost as importantly, have picked up no fresh injury concerns.

Robin Copeland could be available for selection after returning to full training having recovered from a rib injury. And flanker Shane Buckley should be good to go after he received stitches during the 13 – 14 loss to the Scots.

Despite the manner of the loss, Zebo insists that squad confidence has not taken a dip this week, pointing to the Sunday review that has made it clear where the improvement must be found.

“It’s okay, surprisingly enough. We’ve done a lot of reviews now to know what needs to be put right and it’s not something that requires a lot of talent.

“It’s just the physicality of the game and we just need to mentally prepare well enough so that we show up well from minute one and that’ll be the main thing we take into this game.

“The lack of [physicality] last week was rare enough for us – we really need to put that right. Because our attack and things like that will come with a bit more time, and we wouldn’t really have time to change those things.”

Simon Zebo was speaking to Big Red Bench. Follow them on Twitter @BigRedBench or listen to RedFM online here.

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Sean Farrell

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