Bolt inspires belief in Ireland World Cup rugby team
Sprint sensation Usain Bolt has given Ireland's rugby team a boost as they prepare to kick off their World Cup campaign this weekend, squad officials have said.
Bolt, the world's fastest man, had a surprise meeting with the team ahead of its opening World Cup match against Canada in Cardiff on Saturday.
Irish hooker Rory Best said the meeting had been "unbelievable" and gave the Ireland team the boost it needed ahead of the campaign.
"It was great just to get his thoughts on things," Best said.
The six-time gold medallist had dinner with the Irish squad in London before they lost to England in a friendly last week.
Bolt defeated his American rival, Justin Gatlin, twice to win the sprint double at the recent World Championships in Beijing, China, after an injury-disrupted season.
"The big thing, from our point of view, was that he says when he goes into championships and he feels good, he knows he's going to perform," said Best.
"It's not necessarily about how events leading into it have gone. It is about how he's feeling himself."
Ireland are hoping for a successful World Cup campaign, following two recent back-to-back defeats by Wales and England.
"From our point of view, we're feeling pretty good at the minute. But, obviously, the results over the last two games haven't gone the way we wanted," Best said.
"He (Bolt) has a lot of self-belief. He knows when he prepares well and is ready, he can perform."