Leinster confirm signing of Crusaders prop Michael Alaalatoa

Alaalatoa, who has played five times for Samoa, will join the province this summer in time for pre-season training
Leinster confirm signing of Crusaders prop Michael Alaalatoa

Michael Alaalatoa of Moana Pasifika during the cultural challenge before playing the Maori All Blacks. Picture INPHO/Pool Pictures/Phil Walter

Leinster have confirmed the signing of Samoan prop Michael Alaalatoa from the Crusaders.

The 29-year-old tighthead, who started the 2019 World Cup pool game against Ireland in Fukuoka in 2019, will join the province in time for pre-season training this summer.

"We are very excited by Michael’s arrival in the coming months,” said Leinster head coach Leo Cullen. “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."

Sydney-born and raised, Alaalatoa’s father Vili played for Samoa at the 1991 World Cup and he himself turned out for the Pacific Islanders at U20 level before adding five senior caps to his name. The Ireland game was his last with Samoa to date.

His Super Rugby days started seven years ago with the Waratahs before a move to the Crusaders in 2016 where he has played a part in three Super Rugby titles and the club’s success in last season’s Super Rugby Aoteroa championship.

"It is a huge honour to be given the opportunity to join Leinster Rugby,” Alaalatoa said. “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."

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