Planet Rugby

Ireland monitoring Zebo progress

25th February 2014 14:36

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simon zebo ireland

Hand up: Simon Zebo

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has stated that in-form Munster wing Simon Zebo is on the radar ahead of facing Italy.

Zebo has returned from injury and scored tries in his last three Pro12 matches for the province.

Leinster's Dave Kearney and Ulster's Andrew Trimble both currently occupy the wing spots and have impressed in the Six Nations so far.

"He's alongside a number of other players as someone we are watching really closely," Schmidt told the Irish Times.

"I've had conversations with Simon. I've spoke to him recently.

"We believe Dave Kearney has been outstanding so far. A couple of his aerial takes at the weekend were outstanding. His ruck work was outstanding. Defensively his tackle quality has been good and when there's not space he has been elusive.

"Andrew Trimble has been very effective for us as well."

Schmidt also revealed that Brian O'Driscoll, Jonathan Sexton and Peter O'Mahony were all fit after various injury concerns.

"Brian O'Driscoll was cramp and he trained yesterday, individually, and he should train Wednesday and Thursday," added Schmidt.

"He's fine. He actually hasn't had much game time this year in total so he's still pretty fresh.

"Peter O'Mahony has no respect for his body. He has had a fantastic series so far.

"His hamstring, there is a little bit of blood, so those things normally clear up reasonably quickly. It is a case of managing Pete this week so he can train next week.

"[Sexton] hurt his thumb. It wasn't bad. He was fully functional, he could still pass, he could still do everything. We are going to get more feedback on that over the next few days. Hopefully he will be fine.

"We got some scans to read and by Thursday when we are next out we'll have some more information on that."

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