When Allan Alaalatoa was a teenager, he saw Sekope Kepu in Campsie and says he would have been one of the few to recognise the Test forward in Sydney’s west.
This Saturday, the pair could be part of the same Wallabies outfit, preparing to take on the All Blacks in the opening Bledisloe Test in Sydney.
The Brumbies prop was too scared to speak to Kepu when he turned up at Wallabies camp in June, after returning from Bordeaux, though it didn’t take long for that to change.
“When he was playing I was a young lad and I happened to see him in Campsie in my home suburb but I was the only one that I knew for rugby union because everyone is into rugby league,” he said.
“To see him playing and watching him I always really admired the way he played and the way he approached every game and it’s an honour to be in the same environment as he is.
“The last camp, I was probably a bit starstruck, so I didn’t really want to talk to him.
“He sat down with me and said I could go to him with anything and he’ll help me.
“That’s something I really appreciate.”
The familial culture of the Wallabies outfit is something Alaalatoa relishes, having grown up in his rugby-mad Samoan family, with his dad, Vili having represented Samoa and brother Michael, currently playing for the Crusaders.
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