Friday 20 April 2018

Devin Toner: We'll rally around Simon Zebo when he returns to camp following family funeral

19 March 2015; Ireland's Devin Toner, left, and Simon Zebo during squad training. Carton House, Maynooth, Co. Kildare. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
19 March 2015; Ireland's Devin Toner, left, and Simon Zebo during squad training. Carton House, Maynooth, Co. Kildare. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ireland second-row Devin Toner has said the World Cup squad will rally around Simon Zebo when he returns to team base following the funeral of his grand-father.

The Munster back was granted permission to leave the Ireland squad on "compassionate leave" following the death of his grand-father.

John Geary passed away in Cork University Hospital after a short illness and grand-son Simon attended the funeral mass today before linking back up with Joe Schmidt’s squad.

Toner, who made his first World Cup start in the 44-10 victory over Romania in front of a record Wembley crowd at the weekend says the utility back has the sympathy of the entire squad.

Read more: Simon Zebo released from Ireland's World Cup squad on 'compassionate leave'

"Everyone feels for him and from what I heard, he was quite close to his grandfather," said Toner.

"When he comes back in, everyone will rally around him and try and gee him up."

Zebo did his case for selection against Italy and France no harm with an all-action display against the Romanians and had a try ruled out in the first-half when the TMO correctly adjudged that the back had stepped out of touch.

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