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Zebo On The World Cup Wait

2nd September 2015 By Munster Rugby

Zebo On The World Cup Wait

Munster’s Simon Zebo discusses last Sunday’s waiting game and the hours spent agonising on whether or not he’d won inclusion in Joe Schmidt’s final 31-man World Cup squad.

Munster’s Simon Zebo discusses last Sunday’s waiting game and the hours spent agonising on whether or not he’d won inclusion in Joe Schmidt’s final 31-man World Cup squad.

The calendar year to date has seen the Cork-man make six appearances in the national jersey, starting four games in Ireland’s successful defence of their 6 Nations title and featuring in World Cup warm-up encounters with Wales and Scotland. Selected at fullback for the Scottish clash, Zebo more than proved his versatility for the Irish cause with Man of the Match performance that also netted him his second try in as many games.

Not included for last Saturday’s return fixture against the Welsh, as Schmidt experimented with the wide array of back-three talent also vying for World Cup inclusion, the Munster flyer told The42.ie of the nervous wait on Sunday, the day where each England 2015 hopeful would learn their fate.

“I don’t think I’ve ever refreshed my email so much in my life, just hoping for something to pop up. It was a long old day.

“I spent it wisely by chilling out with my family, trying to get them to take my mind off things, and it worked out well.

“But I was on the phone to a few lads like Conor Murray and Earlsie hoping they hadn’t received anything without me!”

Just before 10:30pm the wait was over and word came through that Zebo had won selection in his first World Cup squad. Both excited and relieved, the versatile back credited the expansiveness of the warm up games in showcasing his ability and versatility.

“Say in the Six Nations we were using a lot of kick, so I wouldn’t be able to do it as much. I’d have to stay out and chase or carry the ball on the edges. But these warm-up games have been a lot more expansive, less kicking for territory and things like that.

“It’s been easier to go out and express yourself and get your hands on the ball. Whichever way a game is going, if we need to do that I’ll get in and hopefully do my thing. If it’s not, I’ll stay out and help my team on kick chase.”

In total, five Munster players were included in Joe Schmidt’s 2015 Rugby World Cup squad – Zebo, Donnacha Ryan, Peter O’Mahony, Conor Murray and Keith Earls – with former Munster second row Paul O’Connell to captain the side. See the full squad here.

Ireland play their final World Cup warm up game against England this Saturday at Twickenham – KO 2:30pm. Joe Schmidt will name his matchday side at 1:45pm tomorrow.

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