Simon Zebo insists his disappointment at missing out on British and Irish Lions selection has been eased by his place on Ireland’s tour to North America.
The Munster wing was a contender for the trip to Australia, but Tommy Bowe, Alex Cuthbert, Sean Maitland and George North were preferred by Lions head coach Warren Gatland.
Once Zebo had come to terms with his omission, he consoled himself with Ireland’s forthcoming Tests against the United States and Canada.
“I was initially very disappointed. It would have been a hugely exciting tour to go and play on,” he said.
“It was disappointing for a couple of days after that. But I quickly switched and there is an exciting tour to the States and Canada to come.
“It’s not the worst of places to get a chance to go to when you are at the back of a long season. I haven’t been told that I’m on Lions standby.”
Zebo has enjoyed his breakthrough season in 2012-13, establishing himself as a Test player on the wing or at full-back.
An exciting runner with outrageous skills – as seen by his back heal in the RBS 6 Nations opener against Wales – he believes he will settle quickly under new Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt.
“I was chatting to Ian Madigan a while ago and he told me how much I’m going to enjoy working under Joe because everything he does is about getting the ball wide,” he said.
“He just loves seeing ball in wingers’ hands. It would be great for me.
“Whenever I have the ball in my hands, I’m happy. It should be exciting times ahead with Joe.”