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Andy Farrell open to Simon Zebo international recall after Munster return

Andy Farrell Simon Zebo

Andy Farrell has said that he will wait until Simon Zebo is back playing for Munster before he makes any decisions to include him in his Ireland squad.

Ireland head coach Farrell named his 37-man squad for the tests against Japan and the USA next month but left Zebo out ahead of the 31-year-old’s return to Munster next season.

Farrell was speaking to RTÉ about his squad and Zebo’s potential inclusion in future Ireland squads and indicated that the Cork native would be in contention if he continues coming up with moments of brilliance.

‘That’s the Zebo of old.’

“If he keeps on playing like he did against Stade Francais the other week when he came on to that line and passed the ball out of the back of his hands – that’s the Zebo of old,” Farrell commented.

“I suppose he’s not very old either. He’s not been getting much opportunity, a little bit more recently off the bench. He got some game-time at the weekend, I’ve been watching all of his games.

“He’s doing pretty well, he’s in a big [Top 14] semi-final at the weekend.”

Farrell’s 37-man Ireland summer squad.

Farrell named 11 uncapped players in his Ireland squad for next month’s two tests, which will present plenty of players with great opportunities to impress for their country in the absence of the British and Irish Lions contingent.

The Ireland coaching staff are clearly looking to develop some new international talent in the games against Japan and the USA, as regular captain Johnny Sexton, along with fellow stalwarts Keith Earls and Cian Healy have been left out.

The Ireland head coach explained that he was unsure of whether Zebo would be available to him for those two tests on account of the Top 14 play-offs, as well as wanting to give some new faces an opportunity.

“Do [Racing 92] get through to the final? Would [Zebo] miss some time with us, etc? There are other guys who deserve a chance to be in our squad that’s been playing in and around Ireland over the last season that deserve a look,” Farrell explained.

“Zeebs will come back to Munster in pre-season, we’ll see how hungry he is to start the season well. How good a pre-season he has, how much he settles in as soon as possible.

“He’ll be a great option, because his passing game, his left-footed kicking game is exactly where it was.”

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