Gerry Thornley: Don’t blame Bundee Aki for Simon Zebo’s exclusion

Guinness Series squad: Aki is not the Big Bad Wolf to Zebo’s Little Red Riding Hood

Simon Zebo:  Even Johnny Sexton’s departure to Racing 92, where Zebo is expected to end up, did not take him out of a World Cup. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Simon Zebo: Even Johnny Sexton’s departure to Racing 92, where Zebo is expected to end up, did not take him out of a World Cup. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Everywhere you went this past week, Simon Zebo was the talk of Irish rugby. His decision to up sticks and leave Munster at the end of this season transcended provincial boundaries. Zebo is, pound for pound, probably the most exciting and entertaining player in these shores. He’s a bit of a one-off. The Irish system does not produce too many players like him. We’ll all miss him.

Somehow, his impending departure seems almost to be the most disappointing loss to the Irish system in the professional era, and certainly of latter years. Even Johnny Sexton’s departure to Racing 92, where Zebo is expected to end up, did not take him out of a World Cup and, by extension, the Irish set-up.

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