Rugby

Johnny Sexton Discusses Difficulties Facing Simon Zebo As He Moves Abroad

Johnny Sexton Discusses Difficulties Facing Simon Zebo As He Moves Abroad

Having announced his decision to leave Munster at the end of this season, Simon Zebo is set to play his club rugby with the Paris-based Racing 92 - club rugby being all that he is playing.

Discussing Zebo's decision to leave Munster, and, as a result, the Irish international set-up, former Racing man Johnny Sexton had little doubt that the 27 year old had considered the ramifications of his move.

While Sexton's two-year spell in France did not coincide with any absence from international duty, the Leinster fly-half was not shy in detailing how difficult he found it to 'marry the two.'

Speaking with the Independent, Sexton provided some insight into how difficult Zebo may find his far more telling 'exile':

I found it very tough, to miss out on camps, to miss out on a week's preparation in the Six Nations ... it's not ideal.

That's what I struggled with. It's obviously a big call for him to sacrifice a World Cup potentially and what else can happen before that if we achieve what we want to achieve over the next few years it will be tough for him.

Sacrificing his international career for the benefits that can be garnered playing club rugby in the financially profuse Top 14 is a decision Sexton believes Zebo will have carefully 'weighed up.'

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Zebo himself has stated that a desire to play abroad and the broader interests of his family have informed his decision decisively.

While Zebo's absence will not be good news for many Munster and Irish fans, Sexton remains confident that his spell in the French capital will be a positive one:

I just saw on social media that their new stadium looks like it's opening up soon. Straight away, it's going to be much better.

He's a big figure down there [in Munster], a big player for them, [but] everyone has got different circumstances and I wish him all the best.

The presence of former Munster men Ronan O'Gara and Donnacha Ryan at Racing is sure to alleviate any initial concerns facing Zebo also.

Regarding Zebo's affinity with Munster, Sexton believes however that being 'Munster through and through' ultimately means fans may 'see him back [there] in a couple of years' again.

For the time being, although Sexton is aware that the absence of the Cork man will be 'harshly felt in Munster', the national side may be compensated in terms of how 'much good talent in the back three [Ireland has] coming through.'

 

See Also: Munster Legend Donncha O'Callaghan To Hang Up Boots At End Of The Season

Arthur James O'Dea

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