Zebo: No problem with Schmidt

Simon Zebo has refuted suggestions he was omitted from Ireland's Six Nations squad because of his flamboyant try-scoring celebrations.

The Munster wing did not feature in any of Joe Schmidt's match-day squads but he insists that was due to form of Andrew Trimble and Dave Kearney, and denied any disagreement with the Ireland head coach.

Zebo told the Irish Examiner: "I don't think there's anything behind that, to be honest. Joe loves to have fun on the training park and things like that.

"I don't think I'm the only one to celebrate tries. That's probably people looking for a reason as to why I wasn't picked.

"At the end of the day, it's nothing to do with finding reasons. It's simply that the boys in there have done such an incredible job to keep the jersey. They've made it tough for me.

"Talk about celebrations of tries is nonsense."

Zebo says he has a good relationship with Schmidt, who told the 24-year-old to focus on his work at the breakdown.


"I'd be the first to say I'd be inefficient there, sometimes not doing enough at the breakdown," said Zebo.

"I'm not a Donncha O'Callaghan or a Paul O'Connell in that I don't hit as many rucks as they do. At the same time, when the ball does go wide, I need to be just as efficient as they are in securing ball.

"Turnovers out wide (according to Schmidt) would be the main thing; that would be one of the main goals.

"Going forward, I'd have no issues and I'd back myself every time. There are definitely little parts I can iron out so I can be a better player."

Zebo is expected to feature for Munster in Saturday's Pro12 clash with Leinster at a sold-out Aviva Stadium, and he admits the game will match any international or Heineken Cup game in terms of physicality and intensity.

"It wouldn't be far off any international game I have played in," he said. "It is just one of those games you hate to lose and mentally we won't want to lose this weekend going into such a massive test against Toulouse the following week.

"Momentum will be crucial for both sides and we are really looking forward to it."