WATCH: Simon Zebo makes Munster return at Thomond Park challenge match


MUNSTER Rugby’s record try scorer Simon Zebo returned to playing on Thomond Park for the first time since 2018 during Saturday’s Munster Challenge Match.

As part of their pre-season campaign, the Munster team held an internal challenge match with a 60-minute match, ‘Munster Red’ against ‘Munster Grey’as supporters returned for a game that replaced the one against Bath, cancelled due to Covid concerns.

In an interview on the Munster Rugby website, the Cork native spoke of his delight to be back ‘home’ with the Munster side.

“It’s great to be back, I haven’t stopped smiling for about six weeks now. I’m enjoying every minute of it, a great group of guys. I’m very happy to be at home”

Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

The 31-year-old, returning from Racing 92, was on the winning side on his return, with Munster Grey coming out on top 38-21.

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Zebo praised the team and its up and coming players that he has been impressed by over the last few weeks.

“There’s some unbelievable young athletes and some really skilful guys [like] Jake Flannery, Jack Crowley, Daniel Okeke.”

“These guys have been pushing it on really and there’s a great buzz around the camp, a great blend of youth and experience and we’re really looking forward to the new season,” Zebo said.

Munster’s pre-season comes to an end with the task of Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park next Saturday ahead of their PRO16 opener against South Africa’s Cell C Sharks at Thomond Park two weeks later.

18 April 2010; Simon Zebo on his first Munster debut // Ray Ryan / SPORTSFILE

Although Saturday was a taster of what’s to come, the new signing said that he can’t wait for the competitive season to start.

“I can ‘t wait for the day I pull on a red jersey in front of a full house.”

Munster Red: Matt Gallagher; Seán French, Calvin Nash, Alex McHenry, Conor Phillips; Jack Crowley, Rowan Osborne; Liam O’Connor, Scott Buckley, Keynan Knox; Jean Kleyn, Fearghail O’Donoghue; Jack O’Donoghue (C), Jack Daly, Daniel Okeke.

Replacements: Mark Donnelly, Roman Salanoa, Neil Cronin, Ben Healy.

Munster Grey: Simon Zebo; Jonathan Wren, Liam Coombes, Rory Scannell (C), Ethan Coughlan; Jake Flannery, Paddy Patterson; Josh Wycherley, Diarmuid Barron, Stephen Archer; Cian Hurley, Paddy Kelly; John Forde, Chris Cloete, Alex Kendellen.

Replacements: Ronan Loughnane, James French, Alan Flannery, Darragh French.


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