Patrick ‘Rala’ O’Reilly will chalk up his 150th international game for Ireland this weekend when the men in green take on Namibia. Who is this most capped man?
Rala’s official title is Baggage Master, but he prefers the more prosaic bag man. You have seen him at every Ireland international, every training session over the past thirteen years.
For some he stole the show in the recent documentary ‘Reaching For Glory’ as many of us got our first glimpse of just how important a role he plays in the Ireland backroom team.
It isn’t just about getting the bags to the right place. Rala sets up the dressing room on match day.
Go into the Ireland dressing room a few hours before kick off and there you will find him.
Music surrounds him as he lays out the kit. He hangs each jersey and places the boots, shorts, socks in a neat pile.
He knows the little quirks of all the players. There is an apple for one, juice for another, new laces, the white socks for Donncha – Rala lays it all out for “the lads”.
On the eve of Ireland’s World Cup departure to France, Rala took time out to talk to IrishRugby.ie: