Tuesday 11 December 2018

Johnny Sexton: Free spirit Simon Zebo will thrive in French league

Munster's Simon Zebo. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Munster's Simon Zebo. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Although he believes Simon Zebo will find it difficult to watch Ireland play without him in the years to come, Johnny Sexton reckons the Munster full-back is well placed to thrive when he moves to his former club Racing 92.

The 32-year-old Leinster star spent two seasons in Paris from 2013 to 2015 and was picked for Ireland throughout his time at the club, but it appears his Ireland colleague will face international exile once he makes the same move at the end of this season.

Ireland captain Rory Best yesterday described the departure of Zebo as "a huge loss", while Sexton believes he will do well with the big-spending Top 14 side.

"I think they love that type of player in France, like Simon, skill, flair, he can do something out of nothing. I am sure they will love him down there," Sexton said.

"It's pretty unstructured as well. He will be allowed to have a free role and do what he wants and that is where he is at his best.

"It's obviously a big call for him to sacrifice a World Cup potentially and what else can happen before that if we achieve what we want to achieve over the next few years it will be tough for him."

Best said Zebo's unique personality will be missed as much as his playing talent.

"It is a big loss because, as much as anything, characters around the place are hard to come by," he said.

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