Belfast Telegraph

Former Munster favourite Zebo is relishing his big Thomond return

 

Familiar face: Simon Zebo will be back with Racing 92
Familiar face: Simon Zebo will be back with Racing 92

By John Fallon

Simon Zebo says it will be surreal coming back to Thomond Park with Racing 92 to take on Munster on Saturday, but he relishes facing his old team-mates.

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Zebo, who made 144 appearances for Munster and scored 60 tries, returns to the Limerick venue hoping to oust his native province as the two sides try to build on their bonus-point wins on the opening weekend of the Champions Cup.

"It will be a special occasion. I suppose it was probably inevitable that we would clash at some stage but it is still very fresh. It's not that long since I left," said Zebo. "It will be very exciting playing against my friends in front of the supporters I grew up playing in front of. It will be great seeing a few friendly faces."

It's been a hectic week for Zebo, whose partner Elvira Fernandez has given birth to the couple's third child, a baby boy named Noah Anthony Fernandez Zebo. The new arrival was announced via Twitter yesterday.

Zebo, speaking before his son's birth, said: "I had quite a hectic week this week so I didn't get much minutes under my belt. Hopefully I can put my hand up and go out there and enjoy myself in Thomond Park."

The Corkman made 35 appearances for Ireland but was cast aside by Joe Schmidt two years ago when it was announced that he was leaving for France.

He knew the consequences of his switch and performing for Racing became his primary concern. He scored 16 tries in 26 appearances in his first campaign to become a crowd favourite.

Getting game time in a star-studded squad is the 29-year-old's priority right now, but if the good performances continue and a call comes from Andy Farrell, he won't be found wanting.

"You never know. I will just keep playing my best. Last season was my first in Paris. I was playing pretty good rugby. So hopefully now that we have all of our internationals back from the World Cup we can get back into the swing of things," he said.

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