Munster broke the news today that the province’s leading try scorer, Simon Zebo, will leave the club at the end of the current season.
Munster and the IRFU have stated that they did their best to keep Zebo at the province but were unable to keep the 27-year-old due to the superior bids from a number of clubs across Europe.
Zebo’s destination has not been confirmed but it is well known that the Cork man has desires to play in France and that looks likely to be the country where he will play his rugby next season.
Pau, Lyon and Racing 92 have all been reported to have shown an interest in Zebo but it looks like it is the Parisian outfit who have won his signature, according to a report in the Irish Times.
The report states that Zebo has signed a pre-contract with the Parisian club and as a result, will join up with former colleagues, Ronan O’Gara and Donnacha Ryan.
It remains to be seen whether Zebo will be picked for Ireland in the future, based on recent evidence with Irish players moving abroad, it is unlikely, meaning that Zebo made the decision knowing that he will not feature for Ireland at the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
With many players such as Tiernan O’Halloran, Jared Payne, Andrew Conway, Rob Kearney and Joey Carbery all capable of playing at full-back, there is strength in depth for Joe Schmidt to utilize. However, Zebo’s rise as a world-class full-back in recent times had cemented his Ireland position and regardless of the capable deputies at Schmidt’s disposal, his loss will be felt by both Ireland and Munster.
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