Friday 24 November 2017

Simon Zebo: Rassie Erasmus has brought a new enthusiasm to Munster

Zebo: “Within our four walls we know what we are capable of what and we can do. We’re very excited about the season ahead.
Zebo: “Within our four walls we know what we are capable of what and we can do. We’re very excited about the season ahead." Picture: Brendan Moran / Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

By the time Munster get a chance to end their trophyless run, it will have been six years since they last won silverware.

While the appointment of Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber has brought about a renewed sense of belief down south, the new-look coaching ticket are largely dealing with the same squad that struggled so badly last season.

The players have shouldered their share of the responsibility and in Simon Zebo's eyes, they are seeking a fresh start.

"We hold very high standards for ourselves no matter if people write us off and say what they want," he said at the launch of the alternative Munster jersey at Life Style Sports.

"Within our four walls we know what we are capable of what and we can do. We're very excited about the season ahead.

"Last year there was no excuses, it was just a bad year and bar Connacht no province had a great year. We don't blame the fans, the past few seasons have been tough, very tough for us too.

"We just need to focus on what we can do and that is the performance on the pitch and go out and deliver this year because we haven't won a trophy regularly enough for what we'd consider acceptable, so to win something his year or do something special in Europe is on the agenda."

Munster's halcyon days amongst Europe's elite are all but a distant memory as the balance of power continues to shift in the direction of the English and French teams.

"It's (the gap) getting quite big but I think money is one side of the game but on the other side is tradition, success and what you want to be a part of when you're playing the game and how you want to see yourself when you retire.

"No matter how big money gets once the gap is not too big, the players will find Irish provinces and Irish rugby very attractive."

Munster's dealings in the transfer market may have been quite subdued but in Erasmus and Nienaber they have recruited two of the most sought after coaches in world rugby.

"He's (Erasmus) seen a lot of the players and said what he is expecting of us," Zebo explained.

"We know what he expects of us and we have to focus on understanding his game plan.

"As soon as he's come in the enthusiasm and excitement has gone up and Jacques on the defensive side since he's come in, everybody is raving about him. Fingers crossed it should be great for us."

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