Simon Zebo is tackled by George Ford and Chris Robshaw during the match at the Aviva Stadium yesterday. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE
Ireland winger Simon Zebo said the squad were taking the Six Nations tournament one game at a time and refused to speculate about a Grand Slam following Ireland’s defeat of England in Dublin yesterday.
Zebo was asked how big a challenge they faced in their next game of the tournament, going to Cardiff to take on Wales in the Millenium Stadium.
“It’s a huge test,” he said. “Wales on their day can beat anyone. They’re an unbelievably dangerous side and that (game) will be a massive focus for us now.
“It’s the biggest game of our season and we’ve just got to prepare as best we can to come out on the right end of it.”
A reporter suggested that only a Grand Slam would do this Irish side justice - unbeaten as they are now in 10 test matches. They are the only unbeaten side left in the tournament, with away fixtures against both Wales and Scotland still to to be played.
“We can’t think like that,” Zebo answered. “We’ve just got to focus on Wales. If you get far ahead of yourself you’ll slip up.
“We’re just focused on preparation now and trying to recover and regroup and get our best foot forward for Wales.”
Listen to Simon Zebo’s full post-match interview.
It was put to him that the players must have to make a very conscious effort to avoid thinking in terms of Championships and Grand Slams.
“I don’t think so to be honest, no,” He answered. “It doesn’t ever feel like that. Each day there’s something new, some new things in training.”
He explained: “We’re kind of in a bubble, We don’t really get wind of these exterior things, these things from the outside that would be whispered about. We’re just constantly trying to improve and constantly training and in meetings.
“We don’t even get a chance to think about these kind of things. We’ll just be focused on Wales.”
The Munster player highlighted the fact Ireland could close out such a convincing win without Jonathan Sexton or Sean O’Brien on the field - as it showed the depth of the squad.
“They’re obviously two key players for us and I suppose it shows the squad depth and how strong it is,” Zebo said. “The competition for places is massive, there’s full faith in the 23.
“We're not just a 15, there’s 23 and more players on the outside who could easily come in fill in. That’s a testament to the strength and depth of our squad and to the players who came in.”