“He would have been like a father to me.”
With these simple words Simon Zebo explained to the media today how heartbroken he is at the loss of his grandfather earlier this week.
The Corkman was granted compassionate leave to attend the funeral of John Geary who passed away after a short illness at Cork University Hospital.
The winger explained his devastation at his personal loss today,
“It’s been a tough couple of days but getting back into camp and being around the lads again has been good.”
“He would have been like a father to me. He lived right around the corner from me. I would have seen him and my grandmother every single day and I have great memories of them.”
Zebo returned to the squad after Tuesday’s funeral, and he has paid a special tribute to his colleagues for their support over the last number of days. He has also revealed the typically Irish approach to dealing with grief,
“They were very quick in coming up to me and just saying how sorry they were and how upset I must have been.”
“But, you know, five minutes later they were making jokes and slagging me. They’ve just been great with helping me take my mind of it all.”
Zebo is likely to be handed the full-back role for Sunday’s clash with Italy as ongoing concerns over Rob Kearney’s fitness dog the management.