Michael Alaalatoa signs for Leinster

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mildlyinterested
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Michael Alaalatoa signs for Leinster

Post by mildlyinterested »

Leinster Rugby can this evening confirm the signing of Michael Alaalatoa from the Crusaders.

The 29-year-old tighthead prop, who has been capped at international level by Samoa, will link up with his new team mates in time for pre-season training this summer ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.

Discussing his signing, Leinster Rugby head coach Leo Cullen said, “We are very excited by Michael’s arrival in the coming months. He is a player with top quality Super Rugby and international experience, and he is hungry for further success and to play a part in building on the work that is already underway here.

“We have a group of younger props who will only benefit from his experience and we believe the wider group will also learn a lot from Michael and his rugby knowledge from playing with the Crusaders in particular.

“We look forward to welcoming him and his family to the club later this summer.”

Alaalatoa, who was born and raised in Sydney, represented Samoa at Under-20 and Senior international level, like his father, Vili, before him.

His last game for Samoa was in the 2019 Rugby World Cup against Ireland where he lined up against many of his future Leinster colleagues.

He made his Super Rugby debut for the Waratahs in 2014, before moving to the Crusaders in 2016, where he has enjoyed considerable success, winning the Super Rugby title on three occasions and the Super Rugby Aotearoa championship last year when the Super Rugby season was cancelled due to Covid-19.

Alaalatoa is a powerful, six foot three, 126kg prop and has 89 Crusaders caps to his name and has started five of their six Super Rugby games so far this season.

Speaking to leinsterrugby.ie, Alaalatoa said, “It is a huge honour to be given the opportunity to join Leinster Rugby.

“They have enjoyed a lot of success for a long time and have produced a lot of Irish internationals which speaks highly of their rugby programme and team culture.

“It is something that I am really excited about being a part of and I am looking forward to starting a new adventure in Dublin with my family.”

https://www.leinsterrugby.ie/michael-al ... ster-rugby

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Re: Michael Alaalatoa signs for Leinster

Post by Theleinsterlad »

Interesting

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Re: Michael Alaalatoa signs for Leinster

Post by elephantman »

Very good player, good signing.

Wonder does that signal that Porter will be moved to loosehead from next season?

I know Alaalatoa will be important when Furlong and Porter are away with Ireland but Leo and Stuart are hardly planning to leave Alaalatoa out of the matchday 23 for big European games having presumably forked out decent money on Alaalatoa.

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Re: Michael Alaalatoa signs for Leinster

Post by nopeare »

Would worry me someone is looking at Porter, also bent retiring I would guess.
I would of thought we could potentially use back up at loosehead, second row (if fardy or toner go) and maybe centre before tighthead with (furlong, Porter, abaladze, Clarkson, McGrath)

Can he play loose? Or Porter switching?

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Re: Michael Alaalatoa signs for Leinster

Post by bluemagic »

Unless porter is switching this is an absolutely crazy signing. Very disappointed. Foreign players should really add to the squad. Not be third choice in their position
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Re: Michael Alaalatoa signs for Leinster

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bluemagic wrote:
April 12th, 2021, 8:34 pm
Unless porter is switching this is an absolutely crazy signing. Very disappointed. Foreign players should really add to the squad. Not be third choice in their position
Tadhg Furlong's central contract ends this june.. edit there was: Furlong signed 2 year central contract:

https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/ ... -1.4514651
Last edited by mildlyinterested on April 12th, 2021, 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Michael Alaalatoa signs for Leinster

Post by Dave Cahill »

bluemagic wrote:
April 12th, 2021, 8:34 pm
Unless porter is switching this is an absolutely crazy signing. Very disappointed. Foreign players should really add to the squad. Not be third choice in their position
Our third choice tighthead prop probably starts more games than any other third choice in Europe - as our first and second choice are regularly absent. The last number of years have shown the benefit of having a very high standard third choice tighthead.
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Re: Michael Alaalatoa signs for Leinster

Post by blaker »

Tremendous signing

Presume it means Porter to loose head for some / many big games? Furlong/this lad and Porter/Healy is an outrageous set. Suspect Byrne may be wondering what his best options are

I’d hope that Bent made the decision to pack it in himself rather than being shuffled off against his will. I know it’s pro sport etc but that guy has been an unbelievable servant and is probably playing his best rugby this season - you’d hope we’ve done right by him.
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Re: Michael Alaalatoa signs for Leinster

Post by RoboProp »

We're losing a lot of experience with Henry going, plus our two match day THs are frequently away on Ireland duty. I expect he'll be Pro14 starter when the lads are away and Euro back up if one of Tadhg or Ports are injured.
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Re: Michael Alaalatoa signs for Leinster

Post by RoboProp »

blaker wrote:
April 12th, 2021, 8:58 pm
Tremendous signing

Presume it means Porter to loose head for some / many big games? Furlong/this lad and Porter/Healy is an outrageous set. Suspect Byrne may be wondering what his best options are

I’d hope that Bent made the decision to pack it in himself rather than being shuffled off against his will. I know it’s pro sport etc but that guy has been an unbelievable servant and is probably playing his best rugby this season - you’d hope we’ve done right by him.
I think he wanted to go back to NZ and raise his kid closer to family.

I'd hope Ports stays where he is. I'd love to see Milne get a run of games injury free next season. I think he has all the physical attributes to be Healy's long term replacement
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Re: Michael Alaalatoa signs for Leinster

Post by Dave Cahill »

What is this obsession with moving Porter back to loosehead? He is a world class tighthead, he was a very mediocre loosehead - does nobody remember him playing there? He was pretty much sixth choice on merit and didn't like playing there.

On the signing, am on the fence about it. If Bent is leaving then it's no harm having an experienced tighthead from a different rugby culture come in to help bring Vahk and Clarkson on I guess.
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Re: Michael Alaalatoa signs for Leinster

Post by Peg Leg »

bluemagic wrote:
April 12th, 2021, 8:34 pm
Unless porter is switching this is an absolutely crazy signing. Very disappointed. Foreign players should really add to the squad. Not be third choice in their position
Michael Bent is one of our most successful signings and he was third choice. (Stretching it here, but wasn't Isa signed as a back up outhalf).
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Re: Michael Alaalatoa signs for Leinster

Post by mildlyinterested »

RoboProp wrote:
April 12th, 2021, 9:02 pm
blaker wrote:
April 12th, 2021, 8:58 pm
Tremendous signing

Presume it means Porter to loose head for some / many big games? Furlong/this lad and Porter/Healy is an outrageous set. Suspect Byrne may be wondering what his best options are

I’d hope that Bent made the decision to pack it in himself rather than being shuffled off against his will. I know it’s pro sport etc but that guy has been an unbelievable servant and is probably playing his best rugby this season - you’d hope we’ve done right by him.
I think he wanted to go back to NZ and raise his kid closer to family.

I'd hope Ports stays where he is. I'd love to see Milne get a run of games injury free next season. I think he has all the physical attributes to be Healy's long term replacement
Benty had a 2nd kid recently and they are heading home.

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Re: Michael Alaalatoa signs for Leinster

Post by mildlyinterested »

Dave Cahill wrote:
April 12th, 2021, 9:03 pm
What is this obsession with moving Porter back to loosehead? He is a world class tighthead, he was a very mediocre loosehead - does nobody remember him playing there? He was pretty much sixth choice on merit and didn't like playing there.

On the signing, am on the fence about it. If Bent is leaving then it's no harm having an experienced tighthead from a different rugby culture come in to help bring Vahk and Clarkson on I guess.
Andy Farrell appears to be the person most obsessed with the concept.

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Re: Michael Alaalatoa signs for Leinster

Post by munster#1 »

There’ll be a few lads falling from some great heights off of those high horses after that announcement.

This signing would be contradictory towards a few comments by the vocal minority over the last few weeks and months.

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Re: Michael Alaalatoa signs for Leinster

Post by wixfjord »

munster#1 wrote:
April 12th, 2021, 9:08 pm
There’ll be a few lads falling from some great heights off of those high horses after that announcement.

This signing would be contradictory towards a few comments by the vocal minority over the last few weeks and months.
Would it?

Signing a NIQ (the only NIQ in the squad) to play in a position where we've produced the last two Irish starters and there's a massive gap to a 21 year old academy TH (because our depth chart was removed, partly by Munster).

That compares to signing another Saffer second row to go with an existing high cost Saffer second row, a formerly Saffer second row and Beirne? Two of those won't play for Ireland and behind them you've Wycherley and Ahern.

I mean you're stretching things a bit there to get the auld trolling in M#1!
Last edited by wixfjord on April 12th, 2021, 9:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Michael Alaalatoa signs for Leinster

Post by blaker »

mildlyinterested wrote:
April 12th, 2021, 9:07 pm
RoboProp wrote:
April 12th, 2021, 9:02 pm
blaker wrote:
April 12th, 2021, 8:58 pm
Tremendous signing

Presume it means Porter to loose head for some / many big games? Furlong/this lad and Porter/Healy is an outrageous set. Suspect Byrne may be wondering what his best options are

I’d hope that Bent made the decision to pack it in himself rather than being shuffled off against his will. I know it’s pro sport etc but that guy has been an unbelievable servant and is probably playing his best rugby this season - you’d hope we’ve done right by him.
I think he wanted to go back to NZ and raise his kid closer to family.

I'd hope Ports stays where he is. I'd love to see Milne get a run of games injury free next season. I think he has all the physical attributes to be Healy's long term replacement
Benty had a 2nd kid recently and they are heading home.
Good stuff
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Re: Michael Alaalatoa signs for Leinster

Post by Theleinsterlad »

wixfjord wrote:
April 12th, 2021, 9:14 pm
munster#1 wrote:
April 12th, 2021, 9:08 pm
There’ll be a few lads falling from some great heights off of those high horses after that announcement.

This signing would be contradictory towards a few comments by the vocal minority over the last few weeks and months.
Would it?

Signing a NIQ (the only NIQ in the squad) to play in a position where we've produced the last two Irish starters and there's a massive gap to a 21 year old academy TH (because our depth chart was removed, partly by Munster).

That compares to signing another Saffer second row to go with an existing high cost Saffer second row, a formerly Saffer second row and Beirne? Two of those won't play for Ireland and behind them you've Wycherley and Ahern.

I mean you're stretching things a bit there to get the auld trolling in M#1!
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Re: Michael Alaalatoa signs for Leinster

Post by bluemagic »

mildlyinterested wrote:
April 12th, 2021, 8:39 pm
bluemagic wrote:
April 12th, 2021, 8:34 pm
Unless porter is switching this is an absolutely crazy signing. Very disappointed. Foreign players should really add to the squad. Not be third choice in their position
Tadhg Furlong's central contract ends this june.. edit there was: Furlong signed 2 year central contract:

https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/ ... -1.4514651
Furlong is staying. It just hasn’t been announced yet.

If porter moves across to loosehead it’s a strong signing. If he doesn’t it’s a waste of resources IMO. I don’t care how many mins your third choice tight head plays there’s no point in having a great 3rd choice when it comes to knock outs.
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Re: Michael Alaalatoa signs for Leinster

Post by Dave Cahill »

bluemagic wrote:
April 12th, 2021, 9:21 pm
there’s no point in having a great 3rd choice when it comes to knock outs.
Who do you think Ciaran Frawley, Harry Byrne, Dan Sheehan, Scott Penny and Max Deegan should move to?
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