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Zebo just happy to play for Ireland

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Ireland's Simon Zebo. Picture: Barry Cregg/Sportsfile.

Ireland's Simon Zebo. Picture: Barry Cregg/Sportsfile.

Ireland's Simon Zebo. Picture: Barry Cregg/Sportsfile.

SIMON ZEBO is not one to back himself into a corner or, indeed, onto a wing.

The Munster speedster is open to a move to full-back for the two Tests against the USA and Canada and to putting pressure on two-time British and Irish Lions Rob Kearney thereafter.

"I am happy either or. I am just excited that I can play in both. It is another string to the bow. If I am asked to play there, I gladly would," said the 23-year-old.

"I don't even know where I'll end up, personally, in a couple of years, fifteen or wing, whichever is able to get me more ball, I suppose, I would be happier playing," he said.

The two-Test tour to North America will be the perfect environment for Zebo to show Les Kiss and Joe Schmidt what he can do at full-back.

"You never know I might feature there (15) for some part of this tour. It could be exciting.

"We'll take it as it comes. I am glad to wear a green jersey anytime."

Incoming Ireland coach Schmidt demands that all his back three players command the airwaves and limit mistakes. This is one area in which Zebo has improved over the last 18 months.

He has never had a problem when it comes to the natural flair and ability it takes to unlock a defence and he has been informed of Schmidt's determination to put the ball into the hands of those who can hurt the opposition most.

Is he excited at the prospect of working under Schmidt? "Definitely, I was chatting to Ian Madigan there a while ago and he was just telling me how much I am going to enjoy working under him because everything he does is about getting the ball wide.

 

EXCITING

"He just loves seeing ball in wingers' hands. It would be great for me. Whenever I have the ball in my hands, I'm happy. It should be exciting times ahead with Joe."

It is no secret Zebo likes to wing it when he can, the way he casually flicked the ball into his hands for that try against Wales in the Six Nations summing him up to a tee.

He gets supporters out of their seats as easily as he puts them in them with a swagger that is in-built. You could call it brilliance.

Zebo made his international debut against the vaunted All Blacks last summer, also nailing down time against South Africa, starts against Argentina and Wales, before lasting just 11 minutes against England for his fifth cap on that dirty day at the Aviva Stadium.

The rise has been meteoric. He was even one of those mentioned as a Lions bolter. He even went as far as to be kitted out in the suit and tie. That was as far as it went.

When Rory Best was promoted to the Lions, Peter O'Mahony was called to captain Ireland, as he has done for his club and country at age-grade levels.

Does Zebo see himself as captain material in the future?

"Not really. That's not really in my game. It is not really my personality to be giving orders to people and stuff.

"Peter has captained me at Cork Con, Pres (Cork), Munster and now Ireland. I just know him as a captain even when he's not."

And Zebo? Well, he just wants to do his thing.


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