Manawatu Turbos prop Michael Alaalatoa is back for his second season with the BNZ Crusaders’ in 2017.
Alaalatoa was in the Waratahs squad in 2014 and 2015, however he made the move to New Zealand to gain more playing time during the ITM Cup and push for a Super Rugby contract here. With Tim Perry also out for the first part of the 2016 Super Rugby season after injuring his ACL while playing for Tasman in the ITM Cup, the opportunity was there for Alaalatoa to fight for a spot.
Rugby is in Alaalatoa’s blood, with his father having represented Samoa in the 1991 Rugby World Cup as a tighthead prop, and his younger brother Allan playing at prop for the Brumbies.
He was born and raised in Sydney, where he played three years in his high school First XV, then made his way through the ranks in the New South Wales Shute Shield. He represented Samoa at Under 20 level in the 2011 IRB Junior World Rugby Championship and played for the NSW Country Eagles in the Australian National Championship in 2014. He was also picked up by the Waratahs that year and earned his first Super Rugby cap in the final game of that season.