Ireland veteran to make retirement decision in the ‘next 10 days’

Dylan Coetzee
Munster wing Simon Zebo looking on.

Munster wing Simon Zebo looking on.

Experienced Munster wing Simon Zebo revealed he will make his decision around retirement public in the “next 10 days” after weighing up the options for his future.

Zebo is a veteran of the game having made his debut for Munster in 2010 where he made 144 appearances by 2018 when he moved to Racing 92 in France. The Irishman returned to Munster in 2021 where he has been since.

Listen to the body

The 34-year-old who has played 35 times for Ireland admits to being unsure about his decision and has been trying to listen to his body.

“I think in the next week to 10 days I’ll have definitely nailed down my decision, I’ll make that public,” he told RTE Sport.

“But yeah, I’ve been humming and hawing for the past few months, unsure do I want to keep playing, what’s the body telling me.

“I said I’d wait until I get back fit playing. I got back last weekend, played 80 minutes, I need to see one or two more games but I’m leaning one way and that will be known very soon.”

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Happy Munster

It has been a tricky season for Munster who have been dealt a tough hand with injuries. The province sits fourth in the United Rugby Championship table and have recently fallen out of the Champions Cup at the round-of-16 stage.

This has led to reports that suggest there is unhappiness in the camp – a claim that Zebo emphatically dismissed.

“I think a lot more would be made out of it in the media than it would be from us,” he said.

“Things like that, players move on all the time in clubs all over the world, that’s normal.

“We’ve had some moving parts, along with other clubs, but we don’t take too much notice.

“We are in our own bubble, we know what really goes on at the club and it’s a happy club.

“If we underperform in a game you could look to certain excuses and say ‘this player is moving, is the camp unsettled?’ but it’s all false, it’s not true at all.

“We all get on extremely well, we all look forward to coming into work every day and putting our best foot forward.

“I’m sure there were those excuses last year that would have been on the table, and people would have been saying leading up to Christmas when results weren’t going our way and then we finished with a trophy at the end of the season.”

Nearly a Test send-off

Zebo was in sublime form in the run into the URC title last season and with Ireland losing back-three stars to injury there was a possibility to represent his country again. He revealed there were discussions with head coach Andy Farrell to feature in the Six Nations but it did not materialise in the end.

“I was playing some nice rugby in the big games, against Leinster, home and away, Toulon and Connacht,” he said.

“I did have some contact with Andy and some of the other coaching staff but I then got a knock before Northampton, or just before the squad was announced.

“I would have been close but it just wasn’t to be in the end. I then got another knock that would have ruled me out anyway.

“I hadn’t had a great run of injuries prior to that as well so coming back in late, playing some really good rugby wasn’t probably enough. I probably needed another four or five games under my belt after having been out so long.

“It wasn’t to be, no hard feelings. I had good chats with Andy afterwards, nothing was ruled out, it was a case of going with younger lads for that experience in the Six Nations.”

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