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Double boost for Connacht as Bundee Aki and Ultan Dillane sign new contracts

The pair have played an integral part in the province’s recent success.

PRO12 CHAMPIONS CONNACHT have received a double boost with the news that Bundee Aki and Ultan Dillane have signed contract extensions with the province.

New Zealand native Aki has put pen-to-paper on a new three-year deal while Ireland international Dillane has agreed terms on a two-year contract.

Bundee Aki and Ultan Dillane James Crombie / INPHO James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

“The last two years with Connacht Rugby have been incredible,” Aki said.

“I moved over here not really knowing what to expect but this place has become home to me and my family now. I am proud to be part of this Connacht team and I’m excited to see what we can achieve together.”

The 26-year-old joined Connacht in 2014 on a three-year deal and played a central role in the club’s Pro12 title win last season.

His future has been the subject of much speculation recently with interest from France and England but Aki has now committed to the province until the summer of 2020.

“I’m really pleased that Bundee and Ultan have committed their futures to Connacht Rugby,” Pat Lam said.

“Two talented rugby players, naturally their performances have attracted a lot of attention and there is no doubt that they had options in terms of where they could play.

“But I believe it is a massive statement about what we are doing here as a team and an organisation that they were both so determined to continue to play their part.”

Securing the services of Aki for a further three seasons is a huge coup for the province, as is the retention of academy graduate Dillane after he was linked with a switch to Munster.

Connacht’s  Ultan Dillane 22-year-old Dillane had been linked with a move south. Inpho / Billy Stickland Inpho / Billy Stickland / Billy Stickland

The powerful forward made his Ireland debut against England at Twickenham last year and has since added four caps to his name.

“Connacht Rugby has given me so many opportunities since I started in the Academy and I’m delighted to have signed on again,” the 22-year-old said.

“I am enjoying my rugby so much here and am excited about the future of this team and the province.”

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