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Watch - President Joe Biden tells Rob Kearney to 'stand up'

By Ian Cameron
Rob Kearney is told to stand up by the President of the United States.

US President Joe Biden has thrown his support behind Ireland’s bid to complete the Six Nations Grand Slam, wishing Andy Farrell’s side luck ahead of their Saturday teatime clash with England in Dublin.

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Speaking at a St Patrick’s Day engagement in Washington, Mr Biden introduced his distant relative and former Ireland and Lions fullback Rob Kearney. Kearney, who has previously visited the White House at the invitation of Mr Biden, was in attendance at the event. The President even went as far as to ask Kearney to stand up during his speech, joking that he wanted to see him after the event.

“We’ve even got a few of my distant Irish cousins here today‚Ķ Rob stand up. I want to see you after this, pal, said President Biden.

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“You know, Rob, I expect, we know – and this is no offence to anyone in the room – who we are rooting for in the Grand Slam match between Ireland and England.”

Biden’s Irish roots hail back to the Cooley Peninsula in Co. Louth, a location the wider Kearney family still call home. Biden visited Ireland as Barrack O’Bama’s vice-president in 2016 and met both Rob and Dave Kearney for lunch as part of a whistle-stop of the area.

This is not the first time that Mr Biden has displayed his love of rugby. An Irish rugby ball has been spotted in the Oval Office since his inauguration in 2020. His support of Ireland’s Six Nations campaign, however, is likely to be welcomed by fans of the sport in both the US and Ireland.

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Ireland are four from four in the Six Nations and victory against England would secure their first Grand Slam since 2018. The match, which will take place at the Aviva Stadium, is expected to be a closely contested affair, even if England are coming off the worst home defeat in their history.

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