US President Joe Biden made a video call to the Irish rugby team to congratulate them for their win over New Zealand.
The heart-warming moment was captured on camera and also features the president‘s brother Jimmy, 71, and sister Valerie, 76.
“We’re so damn proud of you, really and truly,” Mr Biden told the squad, as he perched on a chair between his two siblings.
“When I was down in New Zealand not long ago I was bragging about you guys,” he said, adding: “They almost didn’t let me off the island, you know what I mean?”
Proud of the team, he told them: “Congratulations fellas!”
Cheering could be heard on the other end of the line as the president introduced the players to his brother and sister.
The Irish side dominated the game from start to finish before toppling New Zealand 29-20 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday – making it three wins from Ireland’s last five meetings against the legendary All Blacks.
Mr Biden has been a vocal supporter of the Ireland rugby team since his family are predominantly of Irish descent – with around 10 of his 16 great-great grandparents being born in Ireland.
Addressing the president’s call to the rugby team, the White House said in a statement: “Yesterday, the president and members of his family called the Irish Rugby Football Union to congratulate the team for their victory over the New Zealand All Blacks.
“The president had written to Team Ireland on Friday to wish them luck ahead of the Test match in Dublin.”
Prior to the match, Mr Biden sent a letter of encouragement to Andy Farrell’s team.
It read: “Dear Team Ireland, I wanted to send you my best wishes as you face the New Zealand All Blacks tomorrow.
“I was thrilled to congratulate the entire team, especially my cousin Rob Kearney, back in 2016 when you first beat the All Blacks in Chicago – a historic moment in Irish rugby. Since then you have beaten the All Blacks in 2018 and I know you can do it again this year. Your fans in Aviva stadium, throughout Ireland, will be rooting you on to another victory.
“As the Irish blessing says, ‘Wherever you go and whatever you do, may the luck of the Irish be there with you’.
“My grandfather, Ambrose Finnegan, would always say, ‘Keep the faith’, and then my grandmother Blewitt would add, ‘No, spread it’. So, go spread the faith. I’ll be cheering for you.”
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