Simon Zebo starts at full-back for Racing 92 for the second game in a row as he continues his comeback from a long layoff due to injury and coronavirus.
He looked like he’d never been away in the Champions Cup quarter-final against Clermont, fixing his defender and supplying the final perfect pass for Louis Dupichot to score at a crucial time.
The former Munster man is in the final year of his contract at the Top 14 club, and there are rumours Racing are keen to sign Argentinian Emiliano Boffelli.
Zebo this week made his opinion clear on where he sees his future. In a short Q&A published on Friday, he told French rugby newspaper Midi Olympique: “I’m very happy at Racing 92 and I’d like to stay as long as possible. If I stay in shape and continue to play well, I hope that will be the case.”
He has an opportunity to stake a longer-term claim for the 15 shirt, after rugby authorities in France this week upheld Kurtley Beale’s three-match suspension for a high tackle in the Top 14 game against Montpellier.
And team-mate Donnacha Ryan has no doubt that Zebo brings something special to the star-studded Racing team on and off the pitch. “He’s very motivated and puts everything out there every day. It’s great to see. He’s on a different level and it’s great to play alongside him — he just makes the game easier for us.
“He broke his foot last January against Clermont and then at the start of pre-season he broke it again. So he’s had a bit of stick that the old gout is catching up with him. The lads love him and the day is shorter when he’s around.”