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Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

15.49 24 Mar 2020


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Simon Zebo spoke to Off the Ball last night about the huge impact Donnacha Ryan is having at Racing 92 since joining the French outfit in 2017.

The 30-year-old Corkman joined Joe Molloy on Monday Night Rugby, and spoke about living in the Parisian outskirts.

"I'm about 20 minutes from the outside of Paris, it's a nice little suburb about five minutes from our training centre, and about another 20 minutes to the arena.

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"Yeah, it's a good location and I'm only a stones' throw away from Finn Russell, and Donnacha [Ryan] is only five minutes down the road, we're all kind of based in the same location so it's really cool."

Zebo signed an initial two-year deal with the Top 14 outfit back in 2018, with the option to stay for an extra season.

Lock Ryan has taken to life in France extremely well, and Zebo says the language barriers are no issue for his former Munster teammate.

"Surprisingly enough, it's actually very good. Sometimes the accent might get to him a little bit but he's actually very good. He's always first in for French class, he always puts himself out there in fairness to him with speaking to the French lads and stuff, so he's actually really good.

"[He's had a] huge, huge impact, he's changed the forwards mentality, he's added a lot of grit and hard work ethic. He's a bit of a genius at the line-outs, he's a really, really smart guy.

"He's showed our coaches a few things, taught them how to took at rugby and a few things a different way and made a huge, huge impact. Genuinely he'd be the first name down on the team-sheet every week, he's made that much of an impact.

"He's a big fan favourite. He wouldn't score as many tries as he'd like but he definitely has an impact."

Zebo also spoke about his ultimate ambition to someday come home and line out with Munster once more.

"Going back to play in Thomond Park would be special. 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!

"It'll be either home or Paris!"

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Donnacha Ryan Ireland Munster Off The Ball Paris Racing 92 Rugby Simon Zebo

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