The Irish rugby union team has friends in high places.
In a video call from Camp David on Saturday, US President Joe Biden congratulated the team on its stunning 29-20 win over New Zealand’s All Blacks on Saturday, where the team emerged victorious at the Aviva Stadium’s first full crowd in 21 months.
“Incredible to have @POTUS address the team after today’s win over the @AllBlacks!” the Irish team tweeted, along with a picture of the team video chatting with Biden.
Ireland’s victory was quite a statement of intent, given the team was beaten by the All Blacks 46-14 in their last match two years ago, though Saturday’s triumph did mark a third win for the Irish team in its last five meetings with New Zealand.
Biden has frequently paid tribute to his family’s Irish roots – as Vice President, he hosted St. Patricks’ Day celebrations at the White House, and in 2021 hosted Taoiseach Micheál Martin in a virtual bilateral meeting, citing the Coronavirus pandemic.
“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 White House announced in a statement Sunday.
“The President had written to Team Ireland on Friday to wish them luck ahead of the Test match in Dublin,” the statement read.
‘Bring us to the White House!’
On Sunday, JJ Bowles Pub in Limerick, Ireland, tweeted video of the President with his sister Valerie Owens and his brother Jim Biden congratulating the team from Camp David.
“We’re really proud of you guys,” Biden told the team. “Really, really, really. And by the way, when I was down in New Zealand, not long ago, I was bragging about you guys, they almost didn’t let me off the island, you know what I mean? Congratulations, fellas!”
“Anyway, we are gigantic fans. The three of us, when we were in law school and college, but not like you guys, man,” Biden added. “God love you guys—don’t pretend you don’t know me when I show up!”
The Irish team could be heard chanting “USA,” over the phone during the call, with one player shouting, “Bring us to the White House!”
“By the way, I can probably work that out,” Biden responds.