This week on the With You! Rugby Podcast, the President of the United States Rugby Foundation Brian Vizard speaks with Alatini Saulala, an accomplished rugby player, dedicated coach, and US Rugby Foundation Hall of Fame inductee.
As a native of Vava’u, Tonga, Alatini grew up playing rugby and made his way onto the Tonga National Rugby Team. After relocating to California, Alatini co-founded the San Mateo Rugby Club and eventually joined the US Rugby National Team. Alatini played for the Eagle 15s and Eagles 7s and toured in the Hong Kong Sevens in 1998 and 1999.
Alatini is still very involved in the rugby community and has coached several rugby clubs across the Northern California Bay Area. With a passion for helping young people in rugby, Alatini currently serves as the head varsity coach for Peninsula Green High School Rugby Club.
0:35: Brian introduces Alatini Saulala, who played for the US Rugby National Team as well as the Tonga National Rugby Team.
0:50: Alatini gives insight into his youth in Tonga and talks about some of the sports he played growing up.
3:55: Alatini talks about his journey to joining the Tonga National Rugby Team.
9:15: What brought you over to America for good?
10:30: What inspired you to create the San Mateo Rugby Club?
13:20: Tell us about your wins in the national 7s and national 15s championships.
16:40: What are some of your favorite memories from your time with the US National Team?
18:50: Alatini talks about some of his favorite teammates and why they affected him so much.
21:20: Tell us about your time in Hong Kong for the Sevens.
24:45: When did you make the transition from player to coach and what was that transition like?
29:35: “Losing a game and winning a game … that’s just part of the game. Going out there and doing your best is all that’s required of you.”
31:25: What is your proudest and most memorable moment as a player?
35:45: Alatini talks about his touring experience.
37:25: What is the proudest overall moment in your rugby career?
In this episode of the With You! Rugby Podcast, we heard from Alatini Saulala, previous US Rugby National Team and Tonga National Rugby Team player. Alatini earned 16 caps with the Eagle 15s and 12 caps with the Eagles 7s. Soon to be inducted into the US Rugby Hall of Fame, Alatini now serves the rugby community as a coach and helps young rugby players achieve their dreams.