Friday 27 April 2018

Hat-trick heroics show Zebo is one of game's top finishers

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt

Joe Schmidt's first Ireland team for the November series is certainly going to make for interesting reading, especially with the form of Simon Zebo so far this season.

His hat-trick last weekend against Zebre shows how sharp he is and even by his own lofty standards he looks almost impossible to stop when given a sniff of a chance. In Thomond Park on Friday last you could sense that everyone just wanted him to be given the ball at every opportunity.

It looks like he has worked hard in the off-season and his physical preparation appears to be bang on the money. Zebo with more speed, sharpness and hunger to score tries can only be good news for Munster. He is probably in the top four or five finishers in the world now.

What happens in the Ireland set-up is another story. Will he be given the same run in the team? Schmidt will be looking for a lot more than his ability as a finisher: he wants an all-round game. Simon has been asked to work on some of the technical aspects of his game and by all accounts he has focused hard on doing that.

But it is still the early stages of his progression, and it's hard to know if his game has come up to the standards of what Joe wants and expects. If he can work on the little intricacies in his game, he will be a powerful weapon for Ireland as well as Munster.

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport