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ACT Brumbies prop Allan Alaalatoa gets Community help for homesickness

ACT Brumbies prop Allan Alaalatoa has struggled with homesickness, but hopes to make his Super Rugby debut this season.

ACT Brumbies prop Allan Alaalatoa has struggled with homesickness, but hopes to make his Super Rugby debut this season. Photo: Jay Cronan

Family is a big part of Samoan culture and ACT Brumbies prop Allan Alaalatoa has struggled with homesickness since moving from Sydney to join the Super Rugby province's extended playing squad, but regularly seeing his parents and being part of the Brumbies' Community has helped immensely.

Having returned home for the bye week, he will cook a birthday breakfast for his mum Emma in Sydney on Thursday before returning to Canberra to play for the Uni-Norths clash against Gungahlin in the John I Dent Cup that night.

For Alaalatoa it's a chance to impress Brumbies director of rugby Laurie Fisher as he works towards fulfilling his goal of earning a spot on the bench and making his Super Rugby debut this season.

But the 20-year-old admits he's missed his family since moving to Canberra.

The Community, the name given to the tight-knit group of Brumbies with an Islander background, has helped him settle in.

Regular visits from his dad Vili, who comes down from Sydney for every Brumbies home game, and having childhood friend Scott Sio in the squad – the pair's dads both played for Samoa in the 1991 World Cup – have also helped.

"Just coming from Samoa, Pacific Islander background, your life is based around family," Alaalatoa said.

"Fortunately for me Canberra's not too far away from home, so I'm fortunate enough my parents can come down every two weeks or every home game.

"I thought I'd be worse than I am, but you have a lot of boys in the team that are like brothers so we're normally hanging around with each other every day, which helps in that department."

Alaalatoa is hoping to learn as much as he can off the likes of Ben Alexander, Fotu Auelua and David Pocock this year.

Playing for Uni Norths gives him the chance to play a full 80 minutes and hopefully move a step closer to earning his first Super Rugby cap.

Alaalatoa is also in the Australian under-20 squad and will go into camp on the Gold Coast next week as preparations ramp up for the Junior World Championships in New Zealand in June.

Fellow Brumby Tom Staniforth is also part of the squad.

"I think that will be another good opportunity to get some good quality footy, so I'm really looking forward to that contest in June," Alaalatoa said.

"As an under-20 team the last two years we haven't gone so well, so there's a lot of preparation gone into the new 20s program with a lot of trial games before we leave for New Zealand.

"We just hope as a team we can go a step further than the last two years."

Alaalatoa will be joined by Brumbies halfback Michael Dowsett in the Uni Norths line-up, while Lionel Cronje, Conrad Hoffmann and Ruaidhri Murphy will suit up for Gungahlin at the brand new Gungahlin Enclosed.


Gungahlin v Uni Norths

Gungahlin Enclosed, Thursday 7pm

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Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
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Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs WAL 0 02:00Twic
NZL 0vs FRA 0 06:00MilS
IRE 0vs ARG 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 0vs SCO 0 02:00Twic
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WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
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WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
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LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
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WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
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Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
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Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
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USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
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Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
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