Zebo blames Dublin media for South Africa and Ireland tensions

Zebo blames Dublin media for South Africa and Ireland tensions

Andy Farrell's side will visit South Africa in July for a two-test series against the world champions. The first test will take place in Pretoria on Saturday, July 6, with the second test following a week later in Durban, but the buildup has been dominated by comments by South African players.

Andy Farrell's side got the better of South Africa in the Rugby World Cup pool stages in a close encounter the last time they met. Since then, several remarks have been made about the Irish team by members of the South Africa squad.

For example, Damian de Allende, a former Munster player, spoke about the media and said, “The Test match in Dublin in 2022 was a tough loss, so there have been a few tough games against them,” De Allende told RugbyPass TV.

“We lost to them in 2017 when they beat us 38-3. The way the media spoke, they completely disrespected us.

“For us as a group and for us as Springboks, it is about getting respect back—not their respect, but our own respect. We don’t need to, but we really want to beat Ireland. It is going to be an incredible test match.”

Eben Etzebeth and Cheslin Kolbe have also made remarks towards the Irish team ahead of the tour this summer.

There have been a lot of comments and opinions made by South Africa's players, but little by Ireland's players. Simon Zebo has now honed in on the subject matter and offered his take on it.

The Cork native believes that the comments made by the Boks players have added to the spectacle this summer.

“He [De Allende] had a few headlines, for sure,” said Zebo. “But to be fair to his point, the media probably did get a bit out of control with the hopes and expectations,” he said on the Kick Offs and Kick Ons podcast.

“It was a little bit extra around South Africa because Rassie had coached us here at Munster and Jacques Nienaber is now coaching at Leinster, and there is a big rivalry.

“Rassie hates the Irish. He really doesn’t like us, which is quite funny. It will build up even more, and it will drip-feed into the players.

“RG Snyman and Jean Kleyn have been copping a little bit of flak over it."

When asked who was at fault for the tension, Zebo said the media in Dublin were at fault and not the media in Limerick.

“There is a really big rivalry there, and it is bubbling. It’s mainly the Irish media’s fault, based in Dublin, not the Irish media down here, where I am [in Limerick].

“It’s going to be a juicy test series for sure.”

Ireland Rugby: Summer Internationals 2024

  • Tour Details:.
  • Fixtures are displayed in UK & Irish time (with local time in brackets).

Ireland Summer Tour Fixtures:

  • First Test:
  • Opponents: South Africa
  • Venue: Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria
  • Date: Saturday, July 6, 2024
  • Kick-off: 4:00 (5:00 local)
  • Second Test:
  • Opponents: South Africa
  • Venue: Kings Park Stadium, Durban
  • Date: Saturday, July 13, 2024