“He is a player with top quality Super Rugby and international experience and he is hungry for further success.”
Leinster have confirmed the signing of Michael Alaalatoa from the Crusaders for the start of the 2021/22 season.
Alaalatoa has earned five caps at international level for Samoa, including the 2019 Rugby World Cup game against Ireland which was his last for his adopted country.
The 29-year-old was born and raised in Sydney and represented Samoa at Under 20 and Senior international level.
He made his Super Rugby debut for the Waratahs in 2014, before moving to the Crusaders in 2016.
Since joining the Crusaders, the tighthead prop has won the Super Rugby title three times and the Super Rugby Aotearoa championship last year, when the season was cancelled due to the pandemic.
He has made 89 appearances for the Crusaders and has started five of their six Super Rugby games so far this season.
Leinster Rugby Head Coach Leo Cullen discussed the signing and expressed his delight at signing a “top quality Super Rugby” player who “is hungry for further success.”
“We are very excited by Michael’s arrival in the coming months,” Cullen told Leinster’s official website.
“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.”
“It is a huge honour to be given the opportunity to join Leinster Rugby,” Alaalatoa told leinsterrugby.ie after the news was confirmed on Monday evening.
“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.”
Alaalatoa will link up with his new Leinster team mates for pre-season training this summer ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.