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Simon Zebo at the launch of the Life Style Sports and Munster Rugby Ultimate Fan Experience Competition Launch, which will see the winner secure a seat in the Munster dugout for the club’s PRO12 clash against Ulster on April 15. Picture: INPHO/Dan Sheridan
Simon Zebo at the launch of the Life Style Sports and Munster Rugby Ultimate Fan Experience Competition Launch, which will see the winner secure a seat in the Munster dugout for the club’s PRO12 clash against Ulster on April 15. Picture: INPHO/Dan Sheridan
SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

Zebo confident Rassie is staying put while O'Gara will link up with Ireland

Seán McCarthy

Rugby

SIMON ZEBO says that director of coaching Rassie Erasmus has assured the players that there is ‘nothing to worry about’ regarding the South African’s position with Munster.

Erasmus has been linked to a move back home as the Springbok director of rugby and, even if he departs, Zebo doesn’t think it will affect Munster as much as people are saying.

“I can’t comment on him wanting eventually to go back to South Africa, whether that’s in 10 years’ time or two years’ time. Having said that, he knows we have heard all this speculation and all these rumours and he has assured us that we have nothing to worry about," said Zebo at the launch of Lifestyle Sports #munsterrising launch.

“He hasn’t brought the matter up with the squad, not really. The senior players group know what’s going on and things trickle down and filter down. 

The organisation is in a good place, we have come on in leaps and bounds as a squad, whether he leaves or stays wouldn’t hinder us as much as is being made out. He is putting great foundations in place and the players have really bought into it and are driving it on.

“He’s a class act and one of the best coaches I’ve ever had... how he gets players up for games is incredible and something I haven’t dealt with before because his consistency in bringing the best out of people is the best I’ve ever dealt with. If you look at the run of games we’ve had and some of the wins that we shouldn’t have won, a lot of that is down to Rassie. A lot of the credit has to go to Jacques Nienaber as well. They’re both very similar men with great rugby brains and they know how to bring the best out of us,” said Zebo.

“I’m not concerned at all. Rassie is a real straight shooter. If there was anything to say, he would have said it. We have no issues over speculation we can’t control, whatever has gone on, I’m sure something was taken out of context. That’s what happens when you’re in a big job or when you are wanted for a big job.

“We are very much focused on the next few weeks we have coming up because they are going to be massive for our season."

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed Ronan O’Gara will take a role on Ireland’s extended coaching team for the summer tour to the US and Japan.

The Munster legend, who has been impressing as a coaching with Racing 92 in Paris, is expected to return to Ireland in the longer term. For now he'll link up with Ireland this summer where his main duties will be skills and working with young number 10s.

“I’m luckily going on the first week of the summer tour to America. It’s really exciting and a great opportunity for me to learn from who I consider the best coach in world rugby in Joe Schmidt. I can’t wait,” O’Gara, pictured above with Red FM Sport's Lisa Lawlor, told the sportsJoe Live show.