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Jamie's in sync with his wrinkly best friend

HE MAY be one of Ireland's toughest rugby players, but Jamie Heaslip clearly has a soft spot for his wrinkly best friend.

The Irish star has posed for up-close and personal photos with the love of his life -- his bulldog Jay-Z -- who he will leave behind as he travels to New Zealand for the World Cup.

The number 8 is a devoted music fan and seems intent on sharing his love of hip hop with his pup in this shot taken by Irish photographer Billy Stickland. The snap is part of a series of 30 portraits which captures the raw personalities of the Ireland squad. Hard man Paul O'Connell is shown cuddling up to his baby Paddy, while Tony Buckley juggles his three children Ella, Alice and Aiden, and prop Mike Ross dwarfs his child of eight months.