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Even for the most experienced players, who have seen it all before, there is nothing quite like a visit from various Irish sporting legends to stir the emotions ahead of the squad’s departure for the World Cup.
‘The bubble’, as Joe Schmidt likes to refer to it, is rarely breached by anyone outside the inner sanctum, but exceptions are made for exceptional people.
On Thursday night, the Ireland players’ social media accounts were awash with videos of Christy Moore entertaining the squad – thankfully Jacob Stockdale knew who the legendary singer was this time.
“It was good craic, he was slagging off a few of the lads,” said Robbie Henshaw, who is renowned for his musical talents.
“But it was good craic, even the songs he was singing. Lads who never sing were singing along with him. That eases the pressure valve a little, helps us to switch off.
“Tadhg Furlong actually was good, he surprised us by knowing the words! Four years ago, he played bodhrán and I played a couple of tunes on the box. It was a surprise last night so I didn’t go up.”
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