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
"I had a couple of injuries before but this was different." Tom Hamilton talks to Scott Williams about the O'Driscoll tackle, Wales and Scarlets
"To be the best it's not about the flash stuff, it's actually about everything done at a very high level." Tom Hamilton on the England squad
Huw Richards rewinds to 1864 to mark the birth of Welsh rugby's first authentic star - Arthur Gould
Michael Cheika has succeeded in becoming the Wallabies coach under his own terms, writes Greg Growden