Latest: Simon Zebo to join former Munster teammates at Racing 92

Update 6.56pm: Simon Zebo will link up with former Munster teammates Donnacha Ryan and Ronan O'Gara at Racing 92 next season.

It was confirmed by Munster earlier today that Zebo will leave the province at the end of this campaign, and it has since been confirmed the Top14 side will be the player’s destination.

Munster, in conjunction with the IRFU, had put together a mega-deal to entice the Ireland winger to sign a new contract.

However, Zebo’s long-held ambition to play in France is thought to be the decisive factor in him turning down that offer and deciding to leave for Paris.

It is believed Zebo could have earned as much money staying with Munster.

There were other offers within France on the table, but Racing offer the opportunity to link up again with former teammates, as well as life in the French capital.

Zebo was in the Munster team which defeated Racing 14-7 at Thomond Park this weekend.

Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Earlier:

Munster Rugby and the IRFU have confirmed that Simon Zebo will depart the province at the end of the season.

The 27-year-old winger and fullback has attracted the interest of several European clubs who have offered terms that Munster and the IRFU are unable to match.

Munster and the IRFU said they made every effort to retain Zebo.

Munster Rugby CEO Garrett Fitzgerald said: “Working closely with the IRFU we put ourselves in the best position possible with an excellent offer, and while we are largely successful in retaining our best players within the Irish system we know it is out of our hands on this occasion.

“We are hugely disappointed to see Simon leave but we wish to thank him for his immense contribution to the province and wish him and his family all the best for the future.”

Commenting on the news Simon Zebo said: “This club has moulded me into the player and person I am today and I will forever be grateful for that. It has always been my dream to play for my home club, wearing the red jersey while representing my family, friends and local community.

“However, I have always noted the draw to play abroad one day, and in not taking this decision lightly I have decided on what’s best for my family. With my partner Elvira and two young children, Jacob and Sofia, we are planning for our future and this is the right time for us to make the move.

“As much as I will miss everything about this place – the players, staff, supporters and friends for life – I know there are many more special nights in Thomond Park and Irish Independent Park to be had. I will continue to enjoy wearing my jersey with pride and will give my all in making sure Munster are successful this season.”

Simon Zebo, born in Cork, has played 124 times for Munster starting with his debut against Connacht in April 2010.

Zebo is Munster's record try scorer with 55 tries.


 

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