Humble Zebo's 'footie flick' is talk of the town
IT WAS a flick of the foot that everyone's talking about.
Rising Irish rugby star Simon Zebo wouldn't have looked out of place on a football pitch when he back-heeled the ball into his hands and set up Ireland's second try against Wales.
Newly returned erstwhile captain Brian O'Driscoll scooped man of the match for his performance in the thrilling 30-22 win over Wales – but it was Zebo's skills that got tongues wagging.
Captain Jamie Heaslip called the display which helped tee-up Cian Healy's 24th minute try as "'Match of the Day'-type stuff". Fans of the 22-year-old flooded social media with congratulations to the player for his performance in the Six Nations opener.
"Can't get over Simon Zebo's piece of skill. Awesome," one fan wrote. Another joked that he could play for Manchester United.
Zebo was humble in response. "Thanks for all the really nice messages," he wrote.
Numerous videos of the move have begun to appear on YouTube, attracting a steady stream of views.
The Wales game was the first Six Nations appearance in a green jersey for the young player, who is certain to have a bright future.
Zebo's father Arthur is from Martinique, a French island in the eastern Caribbean and was an 800-metre runner.
Slated to represent France in the 1976 Montreal Olympics where he moved to serve in the military, he unfortunately broke a leg and his dream was crushed.
His mother Lynda is from Cork, where Zebo was born, while his sister Jessika is also a keen runner with Leevale AC.
Zebo, who also plays for Munster, attended Beaumont National School and played Gaelic games when he was younger. He featured for St Michael's in a Feile na nOg final and also played an exhibition match at the 2002 Munster SFC final between Cork and Tipperary.
He signed a three-year deal with Munster earlier this month.