Zebo puts Lions to one side

Date published: April 18 2017

Munster full-back Simon Zebo has revealed his team will be out on the training field when the British and Irish Lions squad is announced.

Ahead of a mouth-watering Champions Cup semi-final game with Saracens in Dublin, Zebo’s focus is solely on making it to a European final.

“We’ll be out on the training field when Warren Gatland announces his squad. The Lions will take a back seat this week because we are all just so excited about playing in a Champions Cup semi-final,” said Zebo when speaking to EPC Rugby ahead of the clash at the Aviva Stadium.

“What happens with the Lions is out of our control. But what’s in our hands is the chance to prepare to try to beat Saracens this weekend.”

Several players from the Six Nations showdown between Ireland and England will be on the field on Saturday, but Zebo played down that fact as Munster look to book the first available spot in the 2017 Champions Cup final.

“It is different teams playing in a different game with different players on the pitch. What happened between Ireland and England won’t have any influence on the result,” he added.

“In terms of any team holding a psychological advantage, I think Saracens would have it because they have been in this situation before many times and are the reigning champions. But what will be good for us is the fact we will have a lot of Munster fans at the ground.

“It will be 99 percent Munster fans at the Aviva, a sea of red, and that will give us an extra 10 percent on the day, which we will need. It is going to be one hell of an atmosphere.

“The Munster faithful will travel everywhere to support their team – they are simply incredible. It feels good to be back in a European semi-final and this is where we set our standards and expect to be.”

He continued: “We have had a bit of a hard time in the last couple of season, when a lot of senior players have had to step up. We have had to transition from a young side into a more experienced team.

“The new coaches, Rassie (Erasmus) and Jacques (Nienaber), have come in a played their part and we are all excited by the challenges ahead of us. We might not win anything this season, but we know that if we give it our best shot the fans will accept that and be proud of their team.

“We go out in every game to give 100% for them and that has worked so far for us this season. We’ll do the game against Saracens and we aren’t going to be sitting around after the game wondering about what might have been and if we could have done any more.

“We all know it is going to take the very best we have to beat Saracens. They are an incredible side, the defending champions.”