TONIGHT will be an emotional night for Cork’s Simon Zebo as he bids farewell to Musgrave Park when he lines out for Munster against Glasgow Warriors at Musgrave Park for the last time at the Cork venue, 7pm.
It’s first versus second in the league and Zebo says he hopes he can finish his last game at a happy hunting ground for him with a win.
“It’ll be definitely sad. It’ll probably start to hit home when the final whistle goes a little bit. How the days are ticking and counting down, unfortunately,” said the Corkman.
“Hopefully we can end it with a win, at least I will have a smile on my face if we win. But if we lose it will be a bit of a double whammy. That’s something I don’t want. I just do what I have been doing all season.
The Munster full-back has some fond memories of the famous Cork ground having won a Munster Senior Schools Cup with PBC in 2007.
“Definitely back to school days when we used to play there quite a lot. Back to Pres versus Christians games. They would have been very big on the schedule for us. We have had a lot of great memories there, especially as a schoolboy. That’s where I started.
“We beat Christians in the final which made it even sweeter. And I scored the best schools try ever scored there... 110-metre try,” he says with a smile.
“John Ryan (was in the Christians team). I let him know about that all of the time. He was actually on the pitch when I ran past him. It was actually twice I ran past him. I let him know about it as much as possible,” he says laughing.
Zebo is one of 12 changes made by coach Johann van Graan for tonight’s game with Andrew Conway and Tyler Bleyendaal returning to the starting lineup.
Dan Goggin will start at 12 in place of Rory Scannell while James Hart is preferred in the number nine jersey to Duncan Williams, who is on the bench.
Meanwhile, Joe Schmidt has had to make two changes to his tight five for tomorrow’s Six Nations game against Wales at the Aviva, 2.15pm with Andrew Porter replacing the injured Tadhg Furlong with John Ryan on the bench and James Ryan coming in for his second cap in place of Iain Henderson.
In the backline, Munster’s Chris Farrell will partner Bundee Aki in place of the injured Robbie Henshaw.
MUNSTER: Simon Zebo; Andrew Conway, Sammy Arnold, Dan Goggin, Alex Wootton; Tyler Bleyendaal, James Hart; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland (C); Dave O'Callaghan, Chris Cloete, Robin Copeland.
Replacements: Rhys Marshall, Dave Kilcoyne, Brian Scott, Gerbrandt Grobler, Jack O'Donoghue, Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley, Calvin Nash.
IRELAND: R Kearney, K Earls, C Farrell, B Aki, J Stockdale, J Sexton, C Murray, C Healy, R Best, A Porter, J Ryan, D Toner, P O’Mahony, D Leavy, CJ Stander.
Replacements: S Cronin, J McGrath, J Ryan, Q Roux, J Conan, K Marmion, J Carbery, F McFadden.