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Wednesday 20 February 2019

George Hook: You get the sense that Joe Schmidt doesn't like Simon Zebo

Simon Zebo, Ireland, touches the ball down past the Romania try-line, only for the try to be disallowed due to Simon Zebo having played the ball in touch. 2015 Rugby World Cup, Pool D, Ireland v Romania, Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London, England. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Simon Zebo, Ireland, touches the ball down past the Romania try-line, only for the try to be disallowed due to Simon Zebo having played the ball in touch. 2015 Rugby World Cup, Pool D, Ireland v Romania, Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London, England. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Simon Zebo did his chances of more starts in the Rugby World Cup no harm at all today but George Hook thinks that the winger will not get too many more chances under Joe Schmidt.

Zebo set up a couple of tries and also saw his own individual effort ruled out in a lively performance in Ireland's 44-10 win over Romania in Wembley Stadium.

With Tommy Bowe also impressing, Hook doesn't see Zebo starting the vital games and goes as far as saying that Schmidt, seemingly, does not like Zebo.

"Who is he going to play on his wings? Kearney is 15, I think the other Kearney (Dave) is an absolute certainty on the wing," Hook told Independent.ie.

"He has got to think about Earls or he has got to think about Tommy Bowe. I think he is going to play Kearney and Earls and that means that Earls may not feature against Italy because I don't think Schmidt is going to have to play his absolute first team to dispose of Italy.

"You just get the sense where Zebo - who had a very good game today - is concerned, you do get the sense that somehow Schmidt just doesn't like Simon Zebo, whether it is his attitude in training or his style of play or the fact that he is less structured, remember Schmidt is the most structured coach we have ever had. I suspect he is not going to pick Simon Zebo."

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