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29th Sep 2020

Johann van Graan addresses talk of Munster return for Simon Zebo

Patrick McCarry

Simon Zebo

The former Munster star is out of contract at the end of the new season.

As Munster head into their first weekend of the 2020/21 season, Simon Zebo and his Racing 92 are looking forward to ending their 2019/20 campaign on a high.

Such has been the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic that Racing are currently contesting the new Top 14 competition and last season’s Champions Cup. The French side defeated Saracens in last weekend’s European semi-final and face Exeter Chiefs in the final, in Bristol, on October 17.

Such has been the form of Zebo and Donnacha Ryan, another Munster old boy, that Irish supporters are wondering what could have been had both been retained in the province. Ryan turns 37 in December but still looks very much European and Test standard. At 30, Zebo certainly has many more seasons and miles left in the tank.

There has been speculation that Munster could yet reach out for Zebo to make a return next summer. It is something the versatile back has spoken about in the past and would be open to.

“I’m up for contract this year so obviously, yeah, it will be interesting to see what happens but it’s not just me and what I want to do,” Zebo told BT Sport earlier this month.”I have my family and other people to think about so happiness first and we’ll see what happens then.”

Munster head coach Johann van Graan was asked about the prospect of bringing the Cork native back home. He commented:

“Zeebs is doing brilliantly at Racing. It suits him very well. We wish them all well for the Champions Cup final.

“Zeebs and Donnacha are class players and they showed that once again. The future is very uncertain right now, at this stage. We will take it day by day and week by week.”

Donnacha Ryan and Simon Zebo pictured after a Champions Cup draw with Munster last season. (Credit: Sportsfile)

Munster start their new Guinness PRO14 campaign against Scarlets, in Wales, this weekend and will do so without scrumhalf Conor Murray (thigh injury).

Van Graan preferred not to speculate on when Murray would make his seasonal bow but he did admit there was ‘an outside chance’ he could feature in the home again against Edinburgh on October 10.

The South African added, however, that Munster ‘won’t risk him if he’s not 100% to play’. On the plus side, Munster do have Andrew Conway and Matt Gallagher available to face Scarlets this weekend.