Connacht snap up Chiefs centre Bundee Aki
Highly-rated 24-year-old signs up with Irish province on three-year deal
Bundee Aki has agreed a three-year deal with Connacht.
Connacht have secured the services of Bundee Aki on a three-year deal with the Chiefs inside centre due to arrive at the Sportsground this summer.
The Super 15 winner made his comeback from a shoulder injury for the Chiefs earlier today, helping his side to record their first win in four as they saw off the Rebels, and confirmed after the match that he would be moving to Galway at the end of the season.
“I’m delighted to be able to confirm my move to Connacht,” he said. “This is a huge opportunity for me and my family and I’m really excited by the new challenge. I spoke with Pat (Lam) and was very impressed with the aspirations he and the team have for the club and its future. It’s definitely something I want to be a part of.
“Right now, I’m excited about getting back to playing with the Chiefs, where I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time. There is a lot of rugby to be played before I start the next chapter with Connacht.”
With Eoin Griffin moving to London Irish and Kyle Tonetti retiring, Aki will form a potent partnership in the Connacht midfield alongside Robbie Henshaw and Pat Lam has spoke of his delight at securing a player of his quality.
“This is a fantastic coup for Connacht. It’s great to be able to replace the loss of Eoin Griffin and Kyle Tonetti with the calibre of a player like Bundee. He is only 24 years old and has already shown with the Chiefs and Counties Manukau what a thrilling prospect he is for the game.
“It’s very exciting to be adding him to our young Irish qualified back line here at Connacht and he will bring a real attacking edge in midfield.
“He is a hard-working and talented individual and I believe that he will greatly contribute to the Connacht culture we’ve been developing and the vision we have laid out for the team. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming him to the club.”