Ireland’s Simon Zebo said he is looking forward to featuring alongside “classy” Australian Kurtley Beale for French club Racing 92 next season.
Beale, 31, who has won 92 Wallabies caps, will join Zebo’s Parisian outfit for the new Top 14 campaign to supplement an already impressive international set of three-quarters which includes Scotland fly-half Finn Russell, France pair Virimi Vakatawa and Teddy Thomas, and Argentina winger Juan Imhoff.
“I’m really excited to be playing alongside him. He’s a classy player who can add a lot of attacking flair to what’s already an attacking backline,” Zebo told us in an interview.
“He obviously adds cover and world-class ability. He’s an unbelievable signing and adds to the threat of Racing 92,” the 30-year-old added.
Zebo and influential playmaker Russell have struck a chord on and off the field since the outside-half joined from Glasgow Warriors in 2018.
The former Munster winger plans to welcome versatile Beale to the French capital along with Russell.
“Once he gets here we’ll have a chat and myself and Finn will show him around. It’s exciting. We know a few mutual people and friends, I’ve heard nothing but good things about him,” Zebo said.
The Top 14 term was declared over in late-April due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Former champions Toulon and Castres have announced their players are set to take pay cuts to deal with the financial impact of COVID-19.
Zebo said he would be more than happy to reduce his salary to help the side backed by millionaire Jacky Lorenzetti.
“Of course, there’s no panic there. The club’s been very good to us. Every person who is employed by Racing 92 is well looked after,” Zebo said.
“Whatever we need to do to maintain the safety of the club I’m sure everybody will be up to do it,” he added.
– ‘Baby steps’ –Kurtley Beale has started Tests at fly-half, centre and full-back for Australia
The new campaign is scheduled to begin on September 4 and Racing coach Laurent Travers said earlier this month he would like his players to resume training with medical tests in June.
Reports claim the sessions would restart in stages with players possibly having to wear masks and gloves.
“I’ve heard rumours it will be very like baby steps coming back into it and try to peak then for the right time when rugby’s kicking off,” Zebo said.
“It would be strange and weird for everybody, but the last six months have been weird too.
“Whatever we need to do, we will do as we’re very much of the mindset we want to be back playing rugby and whatever we need to do to get back fastest, if that’s wearing masks then we’ll do it. Tick the boxes and get back on the pitch.”