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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… 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.

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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Turlough 3 hours ago
'Let them keep talking' - Mike Catt claps back over Bok remarks

“You want that – not hatred – but whatever it is that stirs it all up. It’s good.” Agree with this. If you can put a common motivating idea in all your players heads during a game it can produce a real Team perfromance. Erasmus is pretty expert at this. It is quite clear that the comments by Etzebeth, Allende and others were not coincidence and were actioned to create animoisty before the series in order to galvanise the South African mind set. While I understand it, I don’t like it. They result in unnessary vitriol between supporters and for what? I don’t think any of the SA players seriously believe any of these claims and with Ireland ignoring them Erasmus won’t get the escalation he seeks. The vitriol shown by some SA and indeed NZ supporters is extremely weird for NH supporters (OK, maybe England have felt it) but it just feels very odd over a sport. Ireland were more or less sh1t for the first 100 years of their rugby, they have improved significantly in the last 25 to be in a position around now (it may not last) to go into a match with the big guns with a real shot of winning. The reaction to this from some SH supporters has been bizarre with conspiracy theories of ‘Arrogance’ fueling abuse from supporters and even NZ players to Irish crowds during the world cup. I love International rugby and the comraderie between supporters. I genuinely dread and dislike the atmosphere around games with the southern giants. They take this very personally. NH teams: play them, try and beat them, enjoy the craic with their players and supporters and wish them well. SH teams wish them well and they call you arrogant in the press months later. Its just a matter of try and beat them and then good riddance til the next time.

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