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Zebo ‘Over The Moon’ With Lions Call-Up

Zebo ‘Over The Moon’ With Lions Call-Up

Munster and Ireland’s Simon Zebo will join the British & Irish Lions squad on Tuesday as cover for Tommy Bowe, it has been confirmed.

News of Simon Zebo’s call-up to the Lions squad broke overnight, with journalists covering the USA v Ireland match getting the exclusive story as they interviewed the Corkman shortly after he received the telephone call from Lions operations director Guy Richardson.

“I’m absolutely over the moon. It is the best news I could ever have dreamed of. As a professional rugby player the ultimate goal is to be a British and Irish Lion,” he told the reporters present.

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“Hopefully I’ll get the chance to do that if I get my cap. That is something I have to work towards now.”

Zebo played for 75 minutes as a youthful Ireland team kicked off the summer tour with a 15-12 victory over the Americans in humid conditions in Houston, Texas.

It was the 23-year-old’s sixth Ireland cap. He has played on the wing and at full-back for his country, and scored his first Test try against Argentina last November before nabbing his second in February’s 30-22 win over eventual Six Nations champions Wales.

Zebo’s maiden Six Nations campaign was cut short by a fractured metatarsal in his right foot, but he recovered to help Munster reach the Heineken Cup semi-finals in April.

Arguably the most memorable moment of his international career came at the Millennium Stadium against Wales when he produced an audacious flick in the build-up to a Cian Healy try.

At provincial level, he has scored 20 tries in 48 appearances for Munster to date – including Heineken Cup hat-tricks against Northampton Saints and Racing Métro 92.

The IRUPA Supporters’ Player of the Year flies out from Houston later today at 8pm local time and will arrive in Sydney on Tuesday morning, meeting up with the squad in Newcastle ahead of their game against the NSW-QLD Combined Country side.

Tommy Bowe, meanwhile, underwent surgery yesterday morning (Australian time) to stabilise a bone fracture in his hand and his condition will be assessed over the next few days.