Rugby

'Zeebs Was Playing Fullback And He Was Breaking Himself Laughing'

'Zeebs Was Playing Fullback And He Was Breaking Himself Laughing'

What Brian O'Driscoll mostly remembers is having to peel himself from the floor in laughter at Simon Zebo's punishment.

On the day after the Lions faced the Melbourne Rebels during the 2013 tour of Australia, a team meeting saw players face forfeits. Zebo had to do so due to a prank he'd pulled on Conor Murray.

"It was so like Zeebs to do something like that," Murray told O'Driscoll for BT Sport's Lions Call series.

"The story behind it was that we were playing Melbourne Rebels in the midweek game [and I had] a legitimate chance to make the test squad.

"I remember being at the bottom of a ruck very close to half-time and wasn't aware of the clock. As I was getting up, another ruck had formed.

"I just heard Zeebs, 'Kick it out, kick it out, it's half-time'. I kick it out pretty much backwards and started jogging towards the tunnel on the far side. The referee whistled and pointed that the lineout would take place. I was looking for Zeebs, he was playing fullback and he was breaking himself laughing.

"To pull a prank like that in such a big game [for me]... I ended up making the test squad that week because Mike [Philiips] was injured. If it was any tighter or Mike wasn't injured, that was my chance gone out the window."

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To decide which punishment players would face, they rolled a large furry dice. Zebo's roll came up four, meaning he had to call newly installed Munster head coach Rob Penney and make his case to be named team captain for the upcoming season. Zebo, 23 at the time, was just three years into his Munster career.

"Rob Penney dealt with it so well," said Murray.

"I think he'd just come in and Dougie [Howlett] was no longer captain. Zeebs, in fairness, he was quick and said, 'I think you should keep the captaincy on the wing'. On the spot, he made it up."

Picture credits: Sportsfile

See Also: Seven Years After Leaving Munster, Danny Barnes Is Happier Than Ever

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