Friday 20 September 2019

'We're fully aware of what's going on' - Munster hopeful of resisting Toulouse interest in Zebo

Simon Zebo, right, and his Munster team-mate Francis Saili following their side's victory over Ulster last Friday.
Simon Zebo, right, and his Munster team-mate Francis Saili following their side's victory over Ulster last Friday.

Alan Smith

Munster head coach Anthony Foley remains hopeful of keeping Simon Zebo at Thomond Park amid fresh interest from Toulouse, but concedes such speculation has become a part of daily life at the province.

Discussions have taken place between Zebo, Munster and the IRFU performance director David Nucifora over the player's contract situation with his current deal running out in June, and Foley is adamant the province will do all they can to keep their best players.

"We've been in discussions with David Nucifora since before the end of last season," Foley said at yesterday's Champions Cup launch.

"We are fully aware of what's going on. Obviously there is stuff going on in the background in terms of negotiating contracts, conversations with agents - all that will come out in the next few months hopefully. We're about holding onto our best players, they've come through our system and we want them to play with Munster for as long as they can."


Zebo, 25, speaks fluent French and has previously discussed his desire to play abroad but Foley remains optimistic, adding it is testament to Munster's ability to produce players of such talent that they are being courted by French clubs.

"Simon is a player we want to keep and hopefully that's achieved," Foley added. "If not we'll cross that bridge when it comes to it but hopefully we will not need to cross it.

"If clubs like Toulouse are lining up Simon Zebo then Simon Zebo is a good player. It's a lot of credit to Munster for creating a player like that. It also shows the level we are at and we want to keep him because we want to win trophies."

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Leo Cullen has confirmed Leinster will be without Luke Fitzgerald for tomorrow's Pro12 game against Scarlets due to the shoulder injury sustained against Treviso. However, the coach says there is a chance Fitzgerald will be fit for the Champions Cup opener against Wasps on Sunday week.

"He went for a scan, he's just getting assessed for the week," Cullen said. "He won't play on Friday. We'll be hopeful he'll be back in time for Europe."

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