With two wins from two, Ireland could not have hoped for much more from their start to the Guinness Six Nations.
And ahead of a potentially pivotal trip to Twickenham to take on England, Andy Farrell’s side have been preparing with a visit from Irish pop royalty.
None other than Bono, the lead singer of U2, was in camp with Ireland this week, chatting to the Ireland squad after being asked in by Farrell.
And the Ireland head coach explained that bringing in the music legend was more than just a chance to rub shoulders with a superstar.
He told IRFU TV: “We’re unbelievably privileged. He was top of the wish list. He was great, he put real time and effort into it. He’s a private guy who doesn’t really do these things. But he loves his rugby. His wife Ali came along as well and she loves her rugby as well.
“He told us some stories and we got a lot out of it. He’s a proud Irishman so we connect to that. The key for us is making sure we do the homework and the guests that come in, we get something out of it. So the lads certainly did their homework and asked the questions and got the answers that they wanted from it.”
— U2 (@U2) February 19, 2020
Bono was not the only person to join up with Ireland this week, with former skipper Paul O’Connell also attending training.
O’Connell, who called time on his playing career in 2016, has spent time coaching in France and took the opportunity to come into the camp and chat to the players.
And Farrell believes the former Ireland captain can help his players, while also getting something out of the experience himself.
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) February 19, 2020
He added: “It’s great to have Paul with us. We invited Paul in to see what he thinks about the environment, just get a general feel, to be there as a sounding board from the lads.
“We’re getting some good feedback from him and he might learn a few things along the way himself. It’s great to have some past players and somebody that the boys really respect.
“We have an environment that loves people coming in. We like people asking questions so we can answer them and explain them to ourselves as well. It’s great to have him in and he’ll be here until Friday and he’ll give us some feedback.”