After Simon Zebo announced he was leaving Munster at the end of the season, he was not picked for Ireland's Autumn Internationals. Last week, he was also not included in the Ireland Six Nations squad. Today, Joe Schmidt claimed the reason for the latest exclusion was Zebo's form.
Per the Irish Independent, Schmidt said he choose Jordan Larmour because of his superior recent performances.
He is in consideration like anyone else who's currently playing in Ireland. I answered a question earlier about the balance we've got in our back three and we felt that Jordan was probably playing at a level that was appropriate to select him.
Schmidt went on to claim Zebo's performance during Munster's away game to Racing 92 cost him a place.
I think Simon is great value to have in the squad and he's got an irresistible charm about him, he's always smiling and his positivity is great. But by his own standards, he didn't have a great day in Paris (against Racing 92) a couple of weeks ago. There was some wayward passing, some turnovers that he'd look back at and be frustrated with himself. It's crucial at the time of selection that we know guys are in good form.
There's a bit of time during the Six Nations with the Pro14 games that he can still strike a claim.
Ireland get their Six Nations campaign underway in just under 10 days, with an away trip to France to kick things off.
As well as Larmour, Jacob Stockdale, Andrew Conway, Rob Kearney, Fergus McFadden, Keith Earls and Joey Carbery have all been picked as potential options in the back three.
As for Zebo, Munster's next game is on the 10 February at home to Zebre.
You can read his comments in full here.