Tommy Allan

WP junior star on Italy bench

Former WP U19 flyhalf Tommy Allan has been named on Italy’s bench for their Test against the Wallabies in Turin.

Allan, the nephew of former Springbok hooker John, was the second highest point-scorer in last year’s domestic U19 tournament, with 126. He started at No 10 in Western Province’s 22-18 win against the Blue Bulls in the final.

Allan was born in Italy, his father is South African and his grandparents Scottish, so he qualified to play international rugby for any of those nations. As it turned out, he played for Scotland U20 at the 2012 and 2013 Junior World Championships, the first of which took place in Stellenbosch.

After the latter tournament, however, Allan was not offered a contract by WP, and when his agent told him that Perpignan were interested in signing him, he decided to move to France. Allan made an impressive Top 14 debut against Racing Métro and when more good performances followed, the Scottish Rugby Union, which had also not offered him a contract, suddenly became interested in him again.

Allan, though, had already been named in Italy’s squad for their November Tests and decided that he wanted to play in a light blue jersey and not a dark blue one.

The Italy team to play Australia on Saturday has another two South Africans on the bench, lock Quintin Geldenhuys and scrumhalf Tobias Botes.

Italy – 15 Luke Mclean, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Leonardo Sarto, 10 Alberto di Bernardo, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (c), 7 Robert Barbieri, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Antonio Pavanello, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Subs: 16 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Quintin Geldenhuys, 20 Joshua Furno, 21 Tobias Botes, 22 Tommy Allan, 23 Tommaso Iannone.

 

Courtesy of SARugbymag.co.za

Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Tommy Allan has been picked for the Italy squad

Scotland hope Tommy Allan may make Italy U-turn

SCOTLAND are still hopeful that under-20 fly-half Tommy Allan could yet follow his uncle into the national team as a tug o’ war breaks out with Italy.

 

As revealed in yesterday’s Scotsman, the 20-year-old has been included in Italy’s training squad to prepare for the forthcoming autumn Test series. Born to an Italian rugby-playing mother, Paola Berlato, and Scottish father William, Allan’s uncle John, who won nine caps for Scotland and 13 for the Springboks, believes he may not yet have made up his mind. “I’m a proud uncle but also slightly confused,” he told BBC Scotland.

“Things have happened quickly for my nephew. I was always pushing Tommy to play for Scotland, but I think he’ll go for whoever gets in first. The only problem I have is why did Scotland let this opportunity slip through their hands?

“He has done extremely well at Perpignan, learning under the Welsh fly-half James Hook and sometimes getting into the first team ahead of him.”

The SRU have not let him slip, but rather suffered through the lack of opportunities in the two-team pro system. The Allan family moved from South Africa to London when Tommy was seven and he came up through the Wasps academy and London Scottish club, who promoted him to the Exiles system.

He represented Scotland from under-17 to two seasons at under-20 levels, turning out at full-back, centre and stand-off. He joined the Western Province academy in South Africa on leaving school in Wycombe, and won the U19s Currie Cup, but, after making ten appearances for the Scotland under-20 team in the Six Nations Championship and IRB World Junior Championships, he was offered a place in the Edinburgh or Glasgow academy.

There his progress became rather cloudy. Edinburgh already have Piers Francis, Harry Leonard and Gregor Hunter – and Greig Laidlaw, when needed – vying for the no10 jersey, while Glasgow boast Ruaridh Jackson, Duncan Weir, Scott Wight and Finn Russell. Bath’s Tom Heathcote is also very much in the battle for the Scotland position.

Despite encouragement from recent Scotland under-20s coaches Peter Wright and Sean Lineen to join a Scottish club, when Perpignan stepped in and offered an academy deal, with the chance to work with British and Irish Lion James Hook and new French cap Camille Lopez at Stade Aime Giral, the youngster decided on a move to Catalan country. A talented and confident 6ft1 fly-half, Allan has good running and passing skills, and his goal-kicking in this year’s U20 Six Nations was first-class.

He made his Top 14 debut a month ago opposite Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton in a Perpignan versus Racing Metro game, kicked three penalties and a conversion and showed maturity in a narrow 19-16 defeat. Though he has not featured in another Top 14 game he is understood to have been upgraded to a senior contract.

He was born in Vicenza – his full Christian name is Tommaso – while his father was playing rugby in Italy, and with his mother having played scrum-half for the Italian women’s team, it has now emerged that that route was always an alternative option.

However, the senior Scotland management have remained in regular contact with Allan, speaking as recently as last week, and remain hopeful that he may yet stay true to his father’s homeland. An SRU spokesman confirmed that they have spoken to Allan about his next move and are waiting to hear from him.

He is named in an enlarged Italy squad for a training camp. They will name their finalised autumn Test squad on 3 November. With few choices at fly-half Italy coach Jacques Brunel is believed to be keen to tie him to Italy as soon as possible, but he is also very much in Scotland’s sights. It is now up to the 20-year-old to decide whether to commit himself to the Azzurri blue or the Scottish navy.

 

Courtesy of The Scotsman

Tommaso Allan

Italy beat Scotland to Tommaso Allan call-up

Tommaso Allan has been called into the Italy squad after representing Scotland at U17, U18 and U20 levels.

The 20-year-old plays for French Top 14 club Perpignan and can turn out at fly-half or centre.

He was born in Vicenza to an Italian mother, Paola Berlato, when father William was playing rugby in Italy.

Allan is the nephew of former Scotland hooker John Allan, who earned nine Scotland caps as well as appearing on 13 occasions for South Africa.

Italy play November Tests against Australia, Fiji and Argentina, with head coach Jacques Brunel calling up two other uncapped players in Ruggero Trevisan and Michele Campagnaro for the training camps to be held at the end of the month.

Brunel will name his final 30-man squad on 3 November.

Allan was linked with a move to Edinburgh when playing out of Western Province in South Africa before joining Perpignan.

 

Courtesy of BBC Sport

Tommy Allan

International Honours

PlayerLink would like to congratulate Tommy Allan and Robert Barbieri for making the Italian National Squad for the November International tests. This will be Allan’s first taste of Senior International rugby at the age of 20. We are proud of you boys.

Tommy-Allan-Scotlan-U20s-Junior-World-Championships

Young Scot Tommy Allan fitting in at Perpignan

International impact: Perpignan’s Tommy Allan plays 10 against Wales in the Junior World Championships

By Gavin Mortimer

“An old pro” was how Perpignan coach Marc Delpoux summed up the performance of Tommy Allan on his Top 14 debut earlier this month. He wasn’t wrong. USAP went down 19-16 away at Racing Metro but the 20-year-old Scot gave a standout display at fly-half.

Not only was it his first appearance in the Top 14, but it was the first time Allan has played at senior level. Hitherto all his rugby has been age group, mostly for the Western Province U19 side. Eh! How have we gone from France to Scotland to South Africa. OK, let’s go back to the beginning – to Italy.

The bright lights: Perpignan versus Racing Metro

The bright lights: Perpignan versus Racing Metro this month

It was here, in Vicenza, that Tommaso Allan was born in April 1993, to a Scottish father and an Italian mother who in her day appeared as a scrum-half for the Italian women’s team. His dad was a bit of a player, too, but not as good as Tommy’s uncle – John – who won nine caps for Scotland in the early 90s before going on to win another 13 Test caps for his native South Africa following the reintroduction of the ‘Boks to the international fold.

In fact Tommy’s dad, though he was born in Scotland, grew up in South Africa before taking up employment in Italy. When Tommy was seven the family returned to the UK, to Henley-on-Thames, and that’s when his rugby education really began. “I’d played mini rugby for a year in Italy but it was with the Henley Hawks that I began to get serious,” explains Allan. “I spent about four years there and then moved to London Scottish.”

A natural footballer, able to play across the backline, Allan initially divided his time between full-back and centre, but it was with the Scotland U18 set-up that he began to flourish as a fly-half. “That’s where I’m most comfortable,” he says. “I enjoy fly-half most and with Scotland they’ve given me the most game time there.”

Allan, who stands 6ft 1 and weighs 13 ½  stone, moved up through the Scotland ranks until he came under the tutelage of Sean Lineen at U20 level. The young fly-half credits Lineen as a formidable influence on his game and certainly he excelled on his watch, playing throughout the U20 Six Nations last season and then into the summer world championship.

In between representing Scotland age groups, Allan moved to South Africa and spent two seasons with the U19 Western Province side, the highlight being their 22-18 Currie Cup final defeat of the Blue Bulls in 2012, a tense affair in which Allan’s boot proved decisive.

Helpful: Fly-half James Hook

Helpful: Welsh fly-half James Hook

So we’ve done Italy, England, Scotland and South Africa…and France? “My agent has a good connection with Perpignan so we sent them a video of me playing. They liked what they saw and offered me a one year contract with the possibility of a one year extension.

“I’m really enjoying it. It’s great being part of a professional environment and I like how Perpignan play. They give you licence to run and because it’s less structured it really allows you to develop your attacking skills. In training we play a lot of touch and there’s always an emphasis on attack and adventure.”

No one’s been more helpful than James Hook in making sure Allan’s at home in the south of the France. “He’s such a nice guy,” says Allan of the Welshman. “We hang out together at times and he’s always there if I need some advice or help. We’ve done some kicking sessions together and they’ve been great.”

Allan admits his selection against Racing Metro came as a shock although he’d expected to be called upon at some point as Perpignan rotated their squad to cope with the challenge of three Top 14 fixtures in nine days. “I thought I would get some game time but I was chuffed when they announced the team and I was starting,” he says. “I was pretty nervous before hand, stressing about making mistakes, but I think it went pretty well.”

It did go well. Allan scored 11 of his side’s points and earned that pithy praise from the grizzled Delpoux, not bad for a 20-year-old up against the British and Irish Lions fly-half. “It was awesome to play against Johnny Sexton,” exclaims Allan. “I didn’t expect everything [his debut] to happen so quickly so it was just crazy to find myself playing against one of the best 10s in the game.”

What will be even crazier is if the Scotland selectors don’t keep a very close eye on the young fly-half with the ‘Have Boots, Will Travel’ mentality.

JJ

Playerlink signs JJ Kilmartin

We are proud to announce that the exciting and very talented Full-back/wing, Jamie-John Kilmartin has joined the PlayerLink team.

Born in Richmond and brought up in Isleworth, JJ’s went to Millfield School in Somerset for his senior school education.
Just prior to completing his education at Millfield, JJ accepted the opportunity to join Bath Rugby’s Academy and during his time there he has made regular appearances for Bath in the Aviva A league and has also represented Bath Rugby at sevens.

JJ played for England under 18 at school and was also a member of the Scotland under 20s team, which participated in the Junior World Cup.