Allan Alaalatoa is set to sign a five-year deal with Rugby Australia.
Allan Alaalatoa is set to sign a five-year deal with Rugby Australia.

Wallabies turn to next part of long-term plan

POWERFUL prop Allan Alaalatoa is on the verge of signing a major five-year deal with Rugby Australia to build the leadership core of the Wallabies.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika revealed in Tokyo on Sunday that the 29-Test prop was "close to signing on a longer term deal."

 

That the term could be five years with Rugby Australia and the Brumbies is another reflection that Cheika is shaking up how locking in major players is done.

Cheika was the instigator of the five-year mega-deal recently brokered for skipper Michael Hooper that takes him through to the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

Perhaps even more significantly than the quality of his play, it is a measure that Cheika believes it is fundamental that Australian rugby have the proper values, standards and a constant leadership example at its heart.

Tighthead prop Alaalatoa is just 24 and an essential figure for next year's World Cup in Japan as a pack pillar.

"I don't know where it's all at but I am really hopeful...I know he's close to signing on a longer term deal," Cheika said in Japan where the Wallabies play the All Blacks on Saturday in Yokohama.

"It's a key project around leadership in our team and guys like Allan bring it to their Super Rugby and national teams."

Michael Cheika is a big fan of the Brumbies and Wallabies prop.
Michael Cheika is a big fan of the Brumbies and Wallabies prop.

It is a strong and targeted plan to break the numbing cycle of one and two-year deals prevalent in Australian rugby compared to sports like the NRL and AFL where stars are locked into longer term deals.

It is also a positive signal from Alaalatoa that he's prepared to go all-in with Australian rugby until the 2023 World Cup rather than hedge his bets by staying in the picture for club deals in Europe or Japan.



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