Saturday 27 December 2014

Zebo hopes his 'brittle' feet will not hold him back again

Published 30/07/2014 | 02:30

Question marks remain over whether Ireland coach Joe Schmidt fully trusts Simon Zebo at international level, but the Munster winger feels he made progress in Argentina. Photo: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
Question marks remain over whether Ireland coach Joe Schmidt fully trusts Simon Zebo at international level, but the Munster winger feels he made progress in Argentina. Photo: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

Simon Zebo has revealed that the foot problems that have hampered him during the last two seasons could return to plague him again.

The Lion has suffered a broken bone in his foot during each of the last two campaigns, first enduring the setback in the 2013 Six Nations defeat to England and then being hit with another blow in last October's Heineken Cup loss to Edinburgh.

That affected him hugely as he missed the subsequent November internationals and was playing catch-up for Six Nations selection.

Zebo eventually battled his way back into a green jersey when impressing on Ireland's summer tour to Argentina last month, but there appears to be little he can do to stop a recurrence of the problem.

"I've quite bad feet, you know?" he explained. "I don't know the mechanics of it exactly, but they're not the prettiest to look at and they don't operate too well.

"Yeah, they're just pretty brittle I think. I can keep my step a bit, but jumping and landing isn't great. I just have to watch out for them a little bit but you don't think about it too much when you're playing.

"I haven't had any hiccups or anything since the last foot injury. Fingers crossed now I can have an injury-free season."

The winger comes into this season as the man in possession of the national jersey but question marks remain over whether Ireland coach Joe Schmidt fully trusts the Corkman.

However, Zebo feels he made progress in Argentina and has been given positive feedback to take into the start of the new campaign.

"Myself and Joe, our relationship is fine," he said. "He congratulated me on the tour and said I did very well.

"He gave me a few things to work on, same as 'Axel' (Anthony Foley) and these guys (at Munster).

"It's just all about dealing into this season, we don't have to look back. He didn't go into too much depth about the tour.

"It's just about how we can lead into next season and the November series and the European games.

"It's just all about gathering momentum for the World Cup. Around the tackle area and things like that on tour went well. It's all about one per-centers.

"There's never going to be a thing where you're 50pc in an aspect to other players. It's about getting that 1pc better. He was happy with the tour and the main thing is we won it. I got a few congrats off him, so I'm happy with that."

Irish Independent

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