Zebo Departs For Pastures New
Simon Zebo will leave Munster at the end of this season for pastures new after it was announced that despite discussions with the IRFU and the Munster Branch , a deal could not be brokered and he will be with a yet to be announced club from next season onward.
This will come as a real blow to Munster who have already seen Donnacha Ryan leave for Racing 92 although Ryan is coming toward the end of his playing career, Simon Zebo is at the peak of his powers at 27. He has a family to support and he has in recent months made no secret of the fact that one day he wanted to move onto pastures new.
His destination has not been announced at this point but as the season moves on I am sure we will be made aware of his destination. He will of course forfeit his chances of playing for Ireland unless like Jonathan Sexton he can work a release clause into his next contract. He is an important player in an Irish context and Joe Schmidt will you can be certain do his utmost to keep him involved with Ireland between next season and the next World Cup in 2019.
Munster will now be in the market for a back three player to try and replace the undoubted quality that Simon Zebo possesses. They have real quality in the squad at this current moment with the likes of Ronan O Mahony and Darren Sweetnam along with Stephen Fitzgerald who has made a number of senior appearances for Munster, he was at full back last Friday for Munster A down in Cork when they took on Nottingham.
This news will annoy the Munster faithful who will no doubt feel hard done by once more by the IRFU after last season where they saw Donnacha Ryan agree to join Racing 92. This author can understand Simon Zebo’s position to a certain degree, he is 27 and wants to make the most of his playing career both on the field and also in financial terms as well.
He has been very honest in recent months so for that reason you feel that supporters while they may be angry for a short period they will understand his reasons for leaving at this point and who knows in a few seasons “Zeebs” could make a welcome return to the Munster colours in a few seasons time.
Enjoy the next chapter of your career Simon but for now as he has said himself he has plenty of unfinished business with Munster and Ireland for this year. Roll on Connacht next Friday so….
Cian Mc Gibney