16 February 2024

Allan Alaalatoa emerges as a genuine leader as the Brumbies channel the uncertainty of rugby in Australia as a key motivator

| Tim Gavel
Join the conversation
Allan Alaalatoa at the Brumbies season launch

Brumbies skipper Allan Alaalatoa at the season launch. Photo: Tim Gavel.

Rugby in Australia is akin to a duck paddling furiously under the surface of the water to stay afloat while projecting a sense of calm as we see the steadiness of the duck’s body above the water’s surface.

In Australian rugby, the undercurrents suggest that the code is on its knees due to seemingly intractable financial uncertainty.

Within the Brumbies playing group, there has been questioning about the predicament of rugby.

Skipper Allan Alaalatoa believes it is only natural for players to ask questions.

“We are talking about players’ livelihoods,” he said.

“Everyone wants security in life. As a playing group, the important thing is how we deal with it and focus on the things we can control.”

READ ALSO How an uncertain future for the Melbourne Rebels helps the Brumbies

Alaalatoa says the uncertainty isn’t all bad news for the playing group.

“I think it adds to the motivation. As a player, we want to go out and do our best for the jersey and the club because that is going to put us in a better situation.

“As players, we understand that noise is going on in the background, and that is the reality that we are in at the moment. It’s important to channel that energy and focus on the things that we can control, which is to train as hard as we can and grow as a squad.”

And for the Brumbies, the players had to respond to the additional pressure of the club’s future being on the line.

Tom Wright. Photo: Brumbies Rugby.

Tom Wright shows his ability against the Fijian Drua in 2023. Photo: Brumbies Rugby.

Moreover, factors such as the scarcity of Brumbies in the 31-player 2023 World Cup squad, despite being the top Australian Super Rugby side in that season, must act as a motivational force for many players. Just six Brumbies players made the trip to France, with the likes of Tom Wright, Noah Lolesio, Ryan and Lachlan Lonergan and Len Ikitau left at home.

READ ALSO Services Australia boss dumps on ‘time fraud’ for toilet break claims

“They’ve come in with a bit of edge,” says Alaalatoa.

“But there are also boys who debuted for the Wallabies, and guys like Slipps and Robbie, who have been there for a while, have come back with hunger as well. I think, if anything, it has added a lot of value to what we want to do this year, and that is to go from good to great.”

“We’ve been a good team for a number of years. Bernie mentioned that we have been part of the finals since Ben Mowen was a player, but we haven’t won the overall Super Rugby title for a few years.”

Alaalatoa missed the World Cup after rupturing his Achilles and will be absent from the Super Rugby opening round.

But his influence on the playing group through his leadership skills will be omnipresent as the team takes to the field against the Rebels next Friday night in Melbourne.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments
William Newby3:28 am 18 Feb 24

The worst thing to ever happen to rugby in Australia was Rugby Australia.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.