Retired Ireland international Andrew Trimble has made an interesting claim about Simon Zebo, the Racing 92 player who was overlooked for Test level selection in recent years by Joe Schmidt.


The now former Ireland boss is stepping away from the helm after a second successive World Cup quarter-final exit brought an end to his 76-match, six-year reign. 

Ireland’s 23-point last-eight loss in 2015 to Argentina was followed by last Saturday’s 32-point trouncing by New Zealand in Tokyo.

Sifting through the debris of that latest elimination, Trimble claimed on BBC Northern Ireland’s Sportsound Extra-Time Live programme that Zebo was just too talented for the Schmidt era. 

Zebo won 29 of his 35 caps under Schmidt and one of his nine career tries came in the famed breakthrough win over New Zealand in Chicago in 2016.

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However, his October 2017 announcement that he would leave Munster in summer 2018 marked the end of an already strained player/coach relationship.

Schmidt immediately omitted Zebo for that year’s November internationals squad even though he was still living in Cork and was months away from moving to France. 

Trimble, who won 20 of his 70 caps under Schmidt, said: “I remember slagging Simon Zebo in the past about how the Schmidt era really didn’t fit with Zebo.


“I always said to him it was because he was too talented. Because he has got too much on an X-factor. Whereas me, it was perfect because I felt for someone like me it made it accessible.

“That I can get to that level of performance. I can do all those basics really, really well and I can leave some of the other stuff to someone else.”

Zebo soon responded on social media about Trimble’s comment, tweeting: “Love ya big bro.”

His last cap under Schmidt came in June 2017, ironically at the same Shizuoka ground where Ireland were ambushed last month by Japan at the World Cup.

WATCH: The RugbyPass Rugby World Cup Memories featuring ex-Ireland international Stephen Ferris

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