Alaalatoa brothers set to make Super Rugby history
July 17, 2014
Allan Alaalatoa (left) played for Australia Under-20 at the 2014 Junior World Championship © Getty Images
Allan and Michael Alaalatoa are on the brink of an extraordinary achievement, the first brothers to make their Super Rugby debut in successive weeks for different clubs.
Michael debuted last week for New South Wales Waratahs in their win over Queensland Reds, and Australia Under-20 representative Allan is set to begin his career for the Brumbies in the qualifying final against the Chiefs at GIO Stadium on Saturday.
"The way it has worked out, I can't believe it. I didn't think it would come this quick, for myself or for Allan," Michael told News Corp.
It certainly is unbelievable.
Allan, 20, received an extended playing squad contract with the Brumbies for 2014, but he was almost a certain non-starter. Michael, 22, does not even have a contract with the Waratahs.
Father Vili - who played as a front-rower in Samoa's 1991 Rugby World Cup squad - has heaped praise on his two sons in a contrast to his playing days. "I keep telling them, 'You guys are way in front of me when I was your age. I was nowhere near where you guys are at', he said.
While both boys are warriors on the rugby field, they have not overlooked the importance of education. Michael already has a teaching degree to his name while Allan is studying criminology. "I always took the approach that education comes first," Vili said. "A broken arm or leg and it's all over; you've got to have something to fall back on.
With both sons tipped for healthy careers in Super Rugby, Vili is pleased that they can now break out of his shadow and create their own legacy. "When my kids were young they had my name hanging around them, but now they're making their own names. It's a very surreal experience."
The Alaalatoas grew up around the corner from Brumbies prop Scott Sio, whose father also played for Samoa at the 1991 Rugby World Cup.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
The latest Week in Pictures takes in a fiery East Midlands derby and all the action from the Aviva Premiership and Top 14
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton