‘Spread the faith’ US president tells Irish rugby team

‘Spread the faith’ US president tells Irish rugby team Bundee Aki and James Lowe of Ireland after their side’s victory in the Autumn Nations Series match between Ireland and New Zealand at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo: Brendan Moran.

US President Joe Biden sent the Irish rugby team a prayer and asked them to “spread the faith” before their win against New Zealand’s All Blacks over the weekend.

Mr Biden sent a letter prior to Saturday’s match wishing them luck and sending them a blessing.

He said: “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.”

The president then joined the team via video link, flanked by his brother Jimmy (71) and sister Valerie (76), he said: “We’re so damn proud of you, really and truly.”

In his letter he said he was “thrilled to congratulate the entire team, especially my cousin Rob Kearney” in 2016 after their first win against the All Blacks in Chicago.

The Irish team dominated the match throughout, finally winning 29-20 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It was the third time Ireland defeated the All Blacks, who are currently ranked the second best team in the world – just after South Africa.