Three men who epitomise the spirit of Irish rugby were on hand recently at the Old Bushmills Distillery in Antrim to welcome Bushmills Irish Whiskey as the official spirit of the Ireland team.
Willie John McBride, Mick Galwey and Jeremy Davidson, who between them played 136 times in the green jersey, were at the Distillery to celebrate the signing of the official contract.
McBride, who only last week was inducted into the Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Hall of Fame, played 63 times for Ireland - including 12 as captain - while Galwey (41 caps) and Davidson (32 caps) were contemporaries during the second half of the 1990s.
Bushmills is one of the oldest whiskeys in the world, since the original grant to distil was bestowed upon the Bushmills area in 1608. The knowledge and experience accumulated during that time has helped make it one of the finest Irish whiskeys in the world.
"One of the main reasons Bushmills Irish Whiskey has continued to grow and prosper is the passion and dedication of its people to create one of the finest whiskeys in the world," said Pamela Selby, Bushmills Brand Manager. "We wanted to encapsulate this in a sponsorship that celebrated one of Ireland's finest products, built on the experience, dedication and passion of its people and in the Irish rugby team we have a perfect partnership."
Padraig Power, Commercial & Marketing Director for the IRFU, added: "We are delighted to have Bushmills on board as the spirit of Irish rugby. It is a brand that shares very similar values to the Irish rugby brand, such as passion, experience and commitment to excellence. We look forward to working together for the mutual benefit of both brands over the coming seasons."