RaboDirect Rising Stars: Simon Zebo (Munster)

Guinness PRO12 Editor

10 May 2012


Simon Zebo, the latest of our RaboDirect PRO12 rising stars, is a 22-year-old Munster wing who, with eight tries already this season, is leading the way for the Irish provinces.


Scoring his first Munster try against the Scarlets in April last year, Zebo proved his pedigree with a Heineken Cup hat-trick against Northampton in January.

Only Edinburgh’s Tim Visser (13) and Cardiff’s Alex Cuthbert (10) have crossed the try-line more than Zebo in this season’s RaboDirect PRO12.

And fresh from helping Munster gear up for the play-offs with a try-scoring display in the 36-8 defeat of Ulster, Zebo told us what makes him tick.

My earliest rugby memory is when I was eight years old I remember running around my house pretending to be Jonah Lomu.He was – and still is – my rugby hero, I idolised Jonah Lomu.

I don’t seem to inspire too many nicknames but Zebs has been with me a long time. It goes back to my school days at the Presentation Brothers College in Cork.My Munster teammate Peter O’Mahony can probably take credit for that one as we were in the same school year.

Paul O’Connell was the first signature I ever got. I had to get it through a third party – my sister Jessika. She got it at a Munster training session as she was friends with Paul’s brother.

If we were drawing or losing against another team and I scored a try that would be my idea of rugby heaven.I like celebrating tries and so I would probably do a small dance or shuffle and jump into the crowd.

The best kind of day off for me would be to call at a few of the lads’ houses and chill out playing a bit of X-Box and dominating our centre Danny Barnes at FIFA 2012.I usually play as Arsenal as I’m a bit of a Gunners fan myself.

If I wasn’t a rugby player I would have loved to be a basketball player. I really like LeBron James and I’d love to try my hand at the NBA. I never really played at school but I would love to give it a go.

The most famous person I’ve ever met was France footballer Lilian Thuram.He’s a family friend as my father’s French and has relatives there. When we were over there one year I met him at a family gathering, had a picture with him and haven’t seen him since.

I was mistaken for Chris Brown once which I think is quite a positive thing because he’s a pretty good looking guy. I played up to it for a bit and put on a bit of an accent but it didn’t really work as the closer they got the more they realised I wasn’t him.

My punctuality is not the best.I tend to be late for a few things. I’m never late for my rugby duties but when I’m meeting up with my friends there’s a chance they will be waiting a while.

I suppose the only thing I tend to live by is that I try to enjoy myself.  If I don’t I need to change jobs.


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