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Simon Zebo can lend Ireland a hand


Simon Zebo is not the archetypal rugby man

Simon Zebo is not the archetypal rugby man

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Simon Zebo is not the archetypal rugby man

In surely the most tedious debate in Irish rugby since Jamie Heaslip's headphones, the discussion surrounding Simon Zebo's trademark try celebration has flared up again.

So-called purists continue to take umbrage that the Lions wing chooses to mark his scores with a hand-gesture, some even suggesting that it will hinder his international ambitions.

Munster head coach Rob Penney has described the treatment of his player as a case of "tall poppy syndrome." Dictionary definition: a social phenomenon in which people of genuine merit are resented, attacked, cut down or criticised because their talents or achievements elevate them above or distinguish them from their peers.

The trend continued on Saturday when, during the RTE broadcast of the Munster game, we were informed that Zebo had arrived in a sports car with music blaring. The insinuation appearing to be that how the Cork youngster travelled to the ground was of some significance.

Given that he went on to cross the line twice, it clearly didn't have too much of an adverse effect.

Zebo may not be the archetypal 'rugby man' but on the field, where it should count, he has scored three tries in his last two games.

With Tommy Bowe, Luke Fitzgerald and Keith Earls injured, he is the man most likely to provide the national side with an X-factor that the likes of Fergus McFadden simply don't.

If Ireland coach Joe Schmidt were to issue a late call to Zebo for the Triple Crown decider against England this weekend, rest assured that whether or not he makes an impact will have little to do with how loud his music was on the journey to the ground.

Belfast Telegraph