Rugby: Biden congratulates Ireland for beating All Blacks

·2 min read
U.S. President Joe Biden exits the White House residence on November 12, 2021 in Washington, DC (AFP/Drew Angerer)

"So damn proud of you, really."

US President Joe Biden, who never misses a chance to toast his Irish roots, called Ireland's rugby squad to hail their win over the All Blacks, according to a video posted by the Irish Times on Sunday.

The Irish Rugby Federation's official Twitter account published a photo of the exchange, showing the players in their hotel, facing a phone screen, with the comment "Incredible to have @POTUS address the team after today’s win over the @AllBlacks!"

POTUS stands for "President of the United States."

Biden trumpets his Irish roots and his distant cousin Rob Kearney featured in Ireland's first ever win over the All Blacks, a 40-29 triumph in Chicago in November 2016.

The video, of no confirmed date or time, shows Joe Biden in a dark jacket and pants, sitting on the armrest of an armchair, between his sister Valerie and his brother James, whom he presents via a smart phone.

Joe Biden spent the weekend at the Camp David residence in Maryland and returned to the White House midday on Sunday.

"Congratulations fellows," the president says. Cheers are heard at the other end of the link.

"We are huge fans," says Biden, who had written to the team to encourage them before the match.

"What was the final score again?" James "Jim" Biden asks.

Ireland beat New Zealand for the third time in the past five years in a stunning 29-20 victory in Dublin on Saturday.

A voice is heard in the video evoking a visit to the White House. “I could work that out,” the president says.

President Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, home to a large Irish-American community including his mother, whose ancestors hailed from Ballina, County Mayo.

Catherine Eugenia "Jean" Finnegan Biden died in 2010 aged 92.