France game a family affair for Zebo

Date published: February 11 2015

During this weekend's game between Ireland and France in Dublin, Simon Zebo's father will be found in the stands wearing a France shirt.

His son will be turning out for Ireland for the first time against Les Bleus, making it the first time that the Zebo loyalties have been split when Simon has played international rugby.

The 24-year-old has won 12 caps since his debut in 2012 and readily admits that initially growing up he supported both nations equally. Now however, he is indisputably Irish.

“Depending on who was winning I would jump on the winning side. The older I got, the more I wanted to represent my country and that’s Ireland," Zebo told The Irish Times.

“I was born here. Hurling and football has always made me a little more Irish than French. I have always felt Irish and have always wanted to play for Ireland and, lucky enough, I have been able to do it.

The experience will be something new for the Munster flyer.

“Definitely a lot different. It is my first time playing them at senior level and it will be a special day for my family. My da will be wearing his French jersey and the rest of my family will be in green.

“It will be unbelievable, all my French family are coming over for the game and it will be a great occasion.”

Zebo has often shown examples of French flair with some of his skills. That and a desire to get the ball in hand suddenly make his links with France more obvious.

"I get bored easily when I’m just standing out on the wing all day. That’s not how I like to play rugby," stated Zebo.

"I like to get my hands on the ball as much as possible and help out any way I can."