AND hooker Rory Best has revealed that a surprise pre-tournament pep talk from six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt has doused concerns over a loss of form heading into the Rugby World Cup.
Joe Schmidt’s side will enter the competition carrying the burden of successive defeats to Wales and England in the final clashes of their warm-up campaign. Bolt, who joined the Ireland squad for dinner ahead of their 21-13 loss to England earlier this month, explained how he elevated an at times underwhelming season by winning three gold medals at the World Athletics Championships.
“The big thing, from our point of view, was that he says when he goes into championships and he feels good, he knows he is going to perform,” said Best. “It is not necessarily about how events leading into it have gone. It’s about how he is feeling himself.
“From our point of view, we’re feeling pretty good at the minute. But the results over the last two games haven’t gone the way we wanted.” Ireland face Canada in their Pool D opener at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff on Saturday.