Famous bagman helps Mullingar Rugby Club launch tag rugby season

Mullingar Rugby Club’s summer tag extravaganza got a welcome boost last week when Paddy "Rala" O'Reilly, the legendary bagman to the Irish rugby squad for the last 13 years, was a guest at the club to help kickstart the 2010 Lane Club tag rugby season.

Rala was in town in a personal capacity visiting his nephew-in-law Colin Galligan of the Lane Club and was welcomed by incoming club president Donal Coade. According to legend, Rala got his curious nickname in school when the first four letters were as far as he could manage when trying to spell his surname in Irish. Apart from helping the nation’s rugby team at three world cups, Rala was also chosen as bagman for the Lions’ tour to South Africa last year.

He was impressed to see over 180 men and women playing tag on what was one of three open nights ahead of the competition, which is due to start on May 27.

“With a record 26 teams registered for this year’s tournament it is fair to say Mullingar has caught up with the tag rugby craze sweeping Ireland over the past few years,” said organiser and outgoing club captain, Ray Murphy.

“In three years, the club has gone from a base of zero taggers to the nearly 300 participants in this year’s comp. That must make tag rugby Mullingar’s fastest growing sports,” he added.

The club bar and barbecue will be open for business every Thursday throughout the competition.

This Thursday is the last chance for a friendly run before the 2010 Lane Club Tag Rugby tournament kicks off on Thursday 27.

“Due to the huge numbers turning up we will have to roll teams over this week to make sure everyone gets game time, so every 20 minutes the ref will blow up and the winner stays on their pitch to play a new team,” said Ray.

“There are still a number of teams looking for players and vice versa, so can captains and players without teams please make the effort to find each other at the blue tent on Thurday or use our facebook page to connect.”

Referees should turn up at 7pm this Thursday in the club for a meeting with Dave Farrelly to go through new rules and regulations. Remember any teams availing of the 10 per cent discount need to produce their ref at this meeting.

Captains and vice captains should all meet in the hall in the rugby club at 8.30pm.

For more information email [email protected].

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