Ireland has always punched above its weight with the amount of sports stars we have churned out. Rory, Drico, Keano, and many more, have already made considerable impacts on the world stage and the next name in line for sports superstardom is Munster and Ireland's Simon Zebo. As the wise old warhorses like Paul O'Connell and Brian O'Driscoll begin to enter the twilight of their careers it leaves space for a handful of youngsters to stake their claim to fight for a jersey and not many are in a better position than the 23-year-old flying winger.
Having made his Ireland debut last November, Zebo's rise has been meteoric. The 'Zebo flick', as it has been dubbed, in the run-up to Cian Healy's try against Wales in this year's 6 Nations is already seen as one of Ireland's great sporting moments of recent times and a fitting way to introduce one of our most promising players to the world stage.
John Balfe caught up with Simon for a chat about a series of topics from music, to Twitter, to travelling and technology, but where better to start than discussing all things rugby. Check back tomorrow for more!
What was it like to score your first try against Argentina last year? Presumably that's a memory that will be permanently imprinted in your brain.
It was an awesome feeling. It was great just to be picked in the first place and get a good run out in the November series but to score my first try was something that I'll never forget.
Every video that people will make about you between now and the end of your career is going to feature your flick move against Wales. Are you prepared to have to talk about that moment for the rest of your life?
It's very flattering that people took to it so much. Everybody seems to want to talk about it! I don't really mind though, it's just one of those things.
The now legendary Zebo flick.
Did any thought go into it, or was it purely instinctual?
Well, you'd prefer if our passing skills were a bit better than that! Ah no, it was just one of those instinctive things. I'm just glad that in that split second I was able to think of something like that to do and luckily enough it came off, so happy days.
I saw the picture you posted on Twitter yesterday morning of the current Irish captain Peter O'Mahony asleep beside you on the car journey to Dublin! Did he tick you off for that one?
Haha, yeah I got one or two digs in return! He didn't have a clue about it for a while.
You're part of the Ireland squad set to tour North America. When do you leave?
We're off on Saturday. We're just in Irish camp at the moment, it was the first day of training. It's going good, I'm looking forward to the tour and looking forward to a break afterwards.
A lot of people your age are going off travelling now, maybe doing a J1 or something like that, but you're obviously going to the States for a very different reason. When you get to these places is all your time taken up by training, eating right and getting to bed early or do you get a sense that you've experienced these places and sampled the environment and atmosphere?
My favourite thing about rugby, besides playing the games, is the travelling we get to do and the places we get to see. When we go away to places like this the management and staff are always aware that they can't make things boring and mundane. You can't just train and do the serious stuff all the time, you have to enjoy yourself as well. We get a fair bit of downtime, we get to go sightseeing and socialising and all sorts. That's a bit of a bonus, definitely - travelling for free, as opposed to the J1. We're definitely very lucky. Obviously we train very hard, but at the same time we get our reward. Your brain would be fried otherwise!
Tomorrow: Zebo talks...music | Follow Simon Zebo on Twitter!