David Wallace: Loss of Simon Zebo a huge blow for Irish game
It shook Irish rugby to the core on Monday when Munster announced that Simon Zebo would be leaving at the end of the campaign, writes David Wallace.
He is not only a fantastic player for club and country, he can do things that other players can't at key moments of big matches. He is a crowd favourite as well, and all of that adds up to it being a massive loss for Munster and Ireland.
But the reality of it is that rugby is a business and he only has a few years of his career where he can command the market. At 27, he is arguably at his peak as a back three player, and clubs will pay big wages to acquire his services especially in France and England.
You can never give out about a guy going away to further his career because at the end of the day professional rugby is a business. It was great he was part of Munster for so long and maybe he will be back again in the future too.
There is no doubt he is a huge loss but thankfully Munster are particularly strong in that area and they have a lot of youthful talent coming through there, with the likes of Ronan O'Mahony, Alex Wootton and Darren Sweetnam to name a few.
It gives other guys their chance and hopefully Munster can unearth some more amazing talent in the wider channels, but it will be tough to replace Zeebs.