Alaalatoa relishing Crusaders opportunity

Date published: January 19 2016

As the 2016 Super Rugby season approaches, Crusaders prop Michael Alaalatoa is relishing the challenge of establishing himself in the front-row.

Having only received one cap in Super Rugby so far, the former Waratahs tighthead is hoping to learn from the experienced front-rowers in Crusaders squad that includes New Zealand internationals Owen Franks, Joe Moody and Wyatt Crockett.

"I am really enjoying the experience with all the All Blacks coming back," he told Stuff.

"With their experience, I should learn a lot."

Commending the Kiwi style of training, Sydney-born Alaalatoa added that he has already noticed a major difference as the coaches seem to put a lot of trust into the players compared to the ones in Australia.

"The coaching style is different here to what it is like in Australia," he said.

"Over here the coaches know that everyone is going to work hard and they don't need to be on our backs about it. The attitude is driven by the players. In Australia, the coaches have more of a voice on that side of things.

"I am enjoying the way it is done here. The coaches expect you to do your best and work as hard as you can, but they are not on your backs about it."

On the prospect of facing his brother Allan Alaalatoa, who plays for fellow Super Rugby franchise the Brumbies, the 24-year-old said that it would be a proud moment for their family.

"To get the opportunity to play against him would be awesome. I have done it a couple of times, but it would be a great moment for the family."