‘Special’ culture looking to guide Wallabies into future - Alaalatoa

Wed, 12/01/2022, 02:35 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
A brave showing in Cardiff from the Wallabies

Brumbies and Wallabies prop Allan Alaalatoa believes the 'special' culture and connection building within the national side will help them bounce back from a disappointing Spring Tour campaign.

Alaalatoa and the rest of the Brumbies' Wallaby contingency returned to training this week as they prepare for their opening Super Rugby Pacific match against the Western Force on February 19.

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After a strong performance during the Rugby Championship, the Wallabies return to their respective domestic camps eager to impress after failing to record a win in Europe.

Whilst the results were below their expectations, Alaalatoa is confident the 'tough' lessons learnt will help guide the group heading forward as they prepare for England in July.

“Obviously the results didn’t go our way in Spring Tour but I found the experience really good. We learnt a lot of tough lessons that are going to put us in good stead heading forward,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

“I think what was special about that group is our culture and connection we were building off the field which correlated to the way we were performing on the field.

“There’s just little things we spoke about in December that we need to grow on and be better firstly here in the Super Rugby environment that can continue to push forward into those boys who get selected.”

Alaalatoa points to the open relationship between players and coaches which has fostered a 'special' connection across the group, hopeful it will continue to translate onto the field in 2022.

“There’s a great relationship between the players and coaches," he believes.

“There’s a great alignment and I think there’s a lot of players from the feedback from last year who feel comfortable to have conversations with any coach whether that’s one-on-one specific about Rugby or just about what’s going on in their everyday life.

“I think that connection is special to have and I think that relates to how the boys are connecting off the field.

“That environment you want to be a part of playing here in Australian Rugby. It’s really special and looking forward to seeing what the boys who are selected can do pushing forward.”

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The Brumbies enter the new season with plenty of motivation in Dan McKellar's final year as coach.

The captain and coach's journeys have been linked since day one, with Alaalatoa signing in 2014 at a similar time McKellar was brought into the ranks as a defensive and skills coach.

Whilst McKellar won't mention the significance of the season himself, the 27-year-old was quick to bring up the importance of ending his tenure on a high note.

"Understanding that it is Dan's last year, it's a huge motivator for us, it's something that we'll probably remind each other of throughout the year,” he added. “It just helps the boys understand that in order for us to get a win or do great things for Dan in his last year, we have to prepare well.

"Dan definitely won't bring it up in the team meeting, but I think it's something that myself and other coaches can bring up.

"His legacy will definitely be carried on by coaches and players who are left here afterwards. He's definitely earned his stripes for the ARU job but I know he's solely committed to the Brumbies season this year and that he does everything he can to help us as players achieve our goal."

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