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'I was gutted for Rens': Alaalatoa re-signs on long-term deal as Wallabies star opens up on coaching change

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22nd January, 2023
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The Wallabies have received a huge boost heading into the 2023 season, with experienced prop Allan Alaalatoa officially re-signing through to the home 2027 World Cup.

Alaalatoa, 28, signed a four-year deal with the Brumbies and RA earlier this month, but was announced on Monday morning. His deal confirms an earlier report from The Roar in the days before Christmas.

On Monday, Alaalatoa described the decision to put pen to paper as a “no-brainer”.

“I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to continue my career in Australian rugby,” he said.
“The chance to continue to build a life for me and my family in Canberra and come to work every day at a club that means the world to me is special and I’ll be proud to continue wearing the Brumbies jersey for the next four years. 
“It’s an exciting time for rugby in Australia and I’m really looking forward to this year where we have the chance to do something great at both the Brumbies and with the Wallabies.”

Following the departure of head coach Dan McKellar, as well as a number of big name players including Scott Sio, Folau Fainga’a, Irae Simone and Tom Banks, Alaalatoa will have a big role to play to ensure the Brumbies continue to fire.

Last year, the Brumbies came within a missed Noah Lolesio field goal attempt against the Blues at Eden Park from progression through to the Super Rugby Pacific final.


Alaalatoa, who will miss the Brumbies’ trial matches before returning for round one, said the missed moment was something he had thought of since the June defeat.

“You definitely think about it,” he reflected.

“You’re always thinking about, well, how could we have gone one better? But that question is so broad, so you end up thinking about the whole year and the culture and the leadership decisions that we made throughout the year and the buy-in that you got from the group?

“I think the little things off the field contribute to what you do on the field, and that makes me automatically think about little decisions and the buy-in that we got throughout the year.”

Allan Ala'alatoa of Australia celebrates his side winning a penalty during the Bank of Ireland Nations Series match between Ireland and Australia at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Allan Ala’alatoa has re-signed with Australian rugby for another four years. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Alaalatoa’s signature is an important one.

No side can succeed without a strong tight-head prop and Alaalatoa’s retention means Australian rugby can build around him.


He captained the Wallabies against Italy and while the historic defeat was an ugly chapter in the game’s history, his leadership and strong core values are highly valued in Australian rugby.

“Allan is a great man and it’s a huge positive for all Australian rugby supporters that he’s re-committed long-term,” Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos said in a statement.
“He’s hugely respected by the rugby community and an outstanding role model, who sets an example for others to follow both on and off the field.
“With 62 Tests for the Wallabies, a player of his experience committing to the long-term future of the game in Australia is significant and there’s no doubt he has a real desire to bring success to the gold jersey.”

While returning head coach Stephen Larkham described Alaalatoa’s retention as “huge for the club” and provided “real stability piece for the team”.

“Allan’s really developed as a leader over the years,” Larkham told reporters.

“He’s really developed as a player and a leader and he’s integral to this team going forward.”

Reflecting on his growth since first arriving at the franchise at the end of 2013, Larkham applauded Alaalatoa’s growth as a leader within the Brumbies franchise.


“I was around [when Alaalatoa arrived], he was a front-rower and I was probably focused more on the backs,” Larkham quipped.

“He just put his head down and he did a really good job when he first came in.

“Since then, I’ve really noticed a change since I’ve been back…

“I’ve been really impressed with the way that he’s played, particularly last year, but as a leader amongst these guys, how he speaks in front of the team, and the messages that he’s delivering. Top notch.”

Allan Alaalatoa of the Brumbies leads out players

Allan Alaalatoa will be at the Brumbies until 2027. Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Alaalatoa also opened up on Dave Rennie’s departure as Wallabies coach.

“My first emotion was I was gutted for Rens,” Alaalatoa said.  “Understanding that he couldn’t finish what he started and that was the general feel here with the Wallabies here in Canberra.  


“Mainly because a lot of the boys had so much respect for him; the man that he was off the field and the world class coach that he was on the field, and what he was trying to build in the Wallabies set-up.”

He did, however, think Eddie Jones’ arrival would ensure selection was fierce.

“I think it’s going to be a huge lift in the Super Rugby Pacific, especially around the Australia teams, understanding that Eddie is going to pick on form,” Alaalatoa said.

“I think it’s exciting for the Australian public. I think it’s exciting for us understanding that when we get a battle against our Australian boys, a jersey is all up for grabs.”