Having represented Ireland on countless occasions, one would have expected Simon Zebo to have been on the edge of his seat when Joe Schmidt’s men strutted out at Twickenham with a Grand Slam at stake.
However, having been cut from the Kiwi’s selection after announcing his decision to join Racing 92 next season, Zebo simply stated that he has ‘made peace’ with his absence from the Ireland squad.
“I’m not going to cling onto hope for the next couple of years, waiting for the phone to ring…”
“I’d made my peace with this as soon as I saw I wasn’t selected for the Six Nations.”
Although Zebo’s decision to move on rather than dwell on his international exilement is somewhat understandable, the level at which the Munster full-back has put his connection with Ireland into the rearview has come as a surprise to many.
Speaking to the Irish Sun, Zebo explained that he decided to go for dinner to celebrate his birthday during Ireland’s Grand Slam win rather than focus his attention on the match itself.
“We were actually celebrating my birthday! It was on the TV in the background, so I was half-watching.
“It wasn’t really a big birthday to be honest, but the game was on and all the staff and all the waiters were watching and you’d obviously look in to check on the score.
“Thankfully, my kids were running around, keeping me busy, so I didn’t get to focus too much on the celebrating or the lifting of the trophy!
Zebo went on to admit that he was disappointed not to have been involved in what was a historic campaign for his country and that he loves representing Ireland. However, for now, his focus is entirely directed at a massive clash with Toulon in the red of Munster.
“I was disappointed because I love representing my country, but as for playing for Munster while the Six Nations was on, it was easy because I love playing with Munster so much…
“Unfortunately for us, they’re [Toulon] singing at the right time, so we know the challenge that’s ahead of us. They could really upset us if we give them a foothold, so it’s a very dangerous fixture.”
Munster will take on Toulon next Saturday the 31st of March in the quarter-final of The Champions Cup in Thomand Park.