PROPTALK: Neil O’Kane Rainey Old Boys

2 minutes, 45 seconds Read

Height: 6 1
Weight: 19 stone
Tight or Loose: Mostly tight but can play either
Clubs: Rainey Old Boys (15 years), 1 season @ Dungannon & played for the Jordanstown Wed Uni side.

Neil in action against Seapoint, Picture by Charles Henderson


Played for Jordanstown won the Ulster 7s, Jnr Ulster for 3 seasons – we won the interpros in one of the seasons; with Rainey we won Qualifying 1 for two seasons in a row, and in the second season we won the round robin and were promoted to AIL Rugby, we won The Towns Cup & the innaugural All-Ireland Jnr Cup. I was also on the Rainey side that won the U20s Roland Bar Trophy, we were beat in the final of the All Ireland U20s. We have a running joke between some of the boys as to who are in the Rainey Legends Club, a few of us have won The Roland Bar, all the Qualifying leagues, The Towns Cup and have played in the AIL and won the All Ireland Junior Cup. But we are immensley proud of all the tournaments and cups that we have won over the years.

When did rugby begin for you:

I was lower sixth at school, a friend of mine invited me to the rugby club to train. I thought I might be good at it. Went to the first training and got an eye opener. Just because I am a bit bigger than some it does not mean I can’t be put down, I got pasted by the McLean Twins but after a few months I found my feet.

Who were the best props / teams you played against:

When you start your proping career in Qualifying league 2, every scrum is a tough one. One man sticks out in general, Mark Neilly, he was the bogeyman for me, we used to live scrummage at Dungannon and Mark gave me a lesson one day. We were going into the scrums and he put that much pressure on me that I was close to passing out, no matter what I tried it did not work. My mentor was the famous Welsh man, Dylon Davis, who is a forward coach in Magherafelt, he played for Rainey & Dungannon, if it was not for him I would not have been able to cope.

It takes 2, picture courtesy of Charles Henderson

A memorable moment:

Against Greystones this year, one of the top teams in our league. We had a scrum on their 5 metre and we pushed them over the line and scored the try – that was a trurning point in the game.

What does it feel like to prop:

Jumping of a building and being hit by a bus at the same time springs to mind or wrestling a bear when someone is beating you with a sledgehammer!

Who is the bigest bandit on the Rainey Old Boys Team:

Theres 6 or 7 fall into that category but if i have to pick one i’d say Reeky. He is always carrying on, and when it comes to socialising he is the first to start the drinking games, its just unfortunate that he never sees past 10 o’clock!

Shaved or Unshaved:


Beers wines or spirits:

All of the above.

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