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Zebo tempted by World Cup as decision time looms at Racing

Simon Zebo says the temptation of playing in the next Rugby World Cup is influencing his contract...

Simon Zebo says the temptation of playing in the next Rugby World Cup is influencing his contract status at Racing 92. 

The 30-year old has been left in the international wilderness, despite a string of fine performances for the Top 14 side.

The last of his 35 Ireland caps came against Japan in June 2017, before his impending move to Paris saw him shoved to one side by then Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt.

But Zebo's Racing contract expires at the end of the season, and he's told Rugbyrama that a decision on his future is looming into view.

"I am very close to making a decision," he said, "Both options have a good side: I love my life in Paris.

"I would like to help Racing win the Champions Cup, but the idea of ​​one day playing again for Munster and playing in the World Cup is also very attractive.

Speaking to OTB Sports last year, Zebo said a return to Munster would be his only preferred alternative to staying at Racing.

"I think I'll settle all of that next week."Going back to play in Thomond Park would be special," he revealed.

"It would be incredible to go back - I would really love to do it, but sometimes you don't get dealt those cards.

"I genuinely love life in Paris - I could not be happier day-to-day and my family do too. There would be a lot going into that decision.

"The World Cup [in 2023] is there but I would probably be too old so that wouldn't hold much weight!"

Zebo has also weighed in on Sunday's Six Nations meeting of Ireland and France at the Aviva.

Les Bleus haven't won on Irish soil since back-to-back wins at the Lansdowne Road venue in 2011, but the ex-Munster man fancies his current home to put that right on Sunday.

"Even if the Irish will be out to prove a point after their defeat in Wales," Zebo said, "The French team are currently one of the best teams in Europe and will, in my opinion, be well helped by the game being played behind closed doors.

"You know how fantastic the Irish fans are and how to make Aviva an incredibly loud place. They will be missed by my compatriots."

Zebo says the French wings of Gaël Fickou and Teddy Thomas will be key to doing damage to the Irish defence, especially if they isolate the back three. 

He also dismissed talk that his Racing teammate Thomas 'cannot defend' as "bullshit".

Eimear Considine | Ireland’s back three | Women’s Six Nations kickoff | Rugby on OTB AM

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2023 Rugby World Cup France Ireland Racing Racing 92 Rugby World Cup Simon Zebo Six Nations Top 14