Simon Zebo has been linked with a move to Gallagher Premiership club London Irish after his time with Racing 92 is finished.
The former Munster player’s contract with Racing 92 expires at the end of the season and his departure from the Parisian club is looking increasingly likely since France international Gael Fickou signed on with the club.
While Zebo previously hinted that he would return to Munster after his stint in the Top 14, French publication RugbyRama have revealed that London Irish is also a possible destination for the Cork native.
🇮🇪 𝓗𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐲 𝓢𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐭 𝓟𝐚𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐤r𝐬 𝓓𝐚𝐲 🍀
— Racing 92 (@racing92) March 17, 2021
The French rugby site has contacted both Racing 92 and London Irish and neither has denied the links between Zebo and the Premiership club.
‘Playing in the World Cup is very attractive’
The news comes as a blow to Munster and Ireland fans who had hoped to see Zebo playing his rugby in Limerick again.
Zebo, who toured Australia with the British and Irish Lions in 2013, had previously admitted that the appeal of playing in the next Rugby World Cup could be a factor in his next career move.
“I am very close to making a decision,” Zebo told RugbyRama last month.
“Both options have a good side: I love my life in Paris, I would like to help Racing win the Champions Cup, but the idea of one day playing again in Munster and playing in the World Cup is also very attractive. I think I’ll settle all of that next week.”
Zebo hasn’t played for Ireland since June 2017 when they took on Japan in Shizuoka, as the versatile backline player found himself excluded from Irish squads since his move to Racing 92 was announced.
The former Munster player has argued in the past that Irish-qualified players plying their trade outside of one of the four provinces should still be able to play for the national team.
However, the IRFU looks unlikely to change their stance on selecting overseas players for Ireland, and a move to London Irish for the 31-year-old could all but end Zebo’s international career.