Patrick ‘Rala’ O’Reilly has been bagman for the Irish rugby team for nearly twenty years. In that time he’s witnessed many highs and lows. But for him rugby has always been about the people, the places and the experiences.
Here, with his own inimitable wit and humour, he shares with us his unique memories of his time spent at the very centre of Irish and Lions rugby.
From his early days with Terenure RFC to touring with the Lions in 2009 and 2013, to pre-match traditions, pranks, iPod playlists and his love affair with Inishbofin, he tells a behind-the-scenes story of team spirit and friendship. With anecdotes from Keith Wood, Brian O’Driscoll, Donncha O’Callaghan, Jamie Heaslip, Peter Clohessy, Paul O’Connell and others, Rala: A Life in Rugby gives us an insight into the world of rugby – as never seen before.
‘He’s a gent, a role model … but, most importantly, he’s a great friend’ Jamie Heaslip
‘Even when I stopped being captain, I’d find my bags in my room when I arrived at the hotel, and my laundry hanging on the back of my door. He didn’t have to do that, but then there’s so much that he didn’t have to do, but he still did’ Brian O’Driscoll