Keith Wood: I'd like to see more from Simon Zebo

Former Ireland captain reviews the 2017 Six Nations from an Irish perspective

Ireland, Simon Zebo, England, Six Nations, rugby

Ireland’s Simon Zebo after the England match ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Keith Wood wants to see more out of Simon Zebo and the Ireland wingers.

With the 2017 Six Nations and Joe Schmidt's finishing second on point difference behind champions England, who Ireland prevented from gaining the Grand Slam on the final weekend in Dublin.

Wood joined Off The Ball to review the 2017 tournament and looked at areas that Ireland can improve on. 

"I still would like to see our wingers involved in the middle of the field a little bit more like other teams do. I just think when we have guys who are quick - and we're not the quickes team - so we need to get our guys in a little bit more often," he said.

"I'd like to see more from Simon Zebo, I have to say. I still get a level of frustration when I see a ball kicked back down to our winger and he jogs it back. For me, there needs to be more urgency. And we also need to have a plan that we link between our two wingers and our full back for kick chase back.

"Just running back into contact doesn't work for me and a lot of teams set loose kicks up as being a really good attacking platform and we don't to be honest."

Wood also discussed Ireland back row Sean O'Brien. 

He said: "Sean O'Brien is a cracking player. I don't think he is fully fit. He hasn't had the energy level that he's had in the last couple of years. He's had an awful lot of injuries and it's very, very tough for him. He's carrying a huge weight of expectation. You can see he's physically struggling at times.

"But he was the best ball-carrier, prior to CJ Stander coming in, and I wouldn't like the same thing to happen to Stander where he gets so beaten up all the time because he's the main ball-carrier that suddenly he's standing to catch the ball to run into contact.

"I just wished [O'Brien] would take a little bit more depth and step into the ball rather than standing still when he's going because he's too powerful a guy for that."