IRFU confirm new Bundee Aki deal to keep him with Connacht until 2023

The 29-year-old has penned a new deal with the union.

THE IRFU HAS confirmed that Bundee Aki has signed a new central contract to keep him with Connacht until the summer of 2023 at least.

The Ireland international is the first Connacht player to sign a central deal with the union, and this new three-year extension comes as a huge boost for the western province.

bundee-aki-after-the-game Aki's new deal is a boost for Ireland and Connacht. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Aki first joined Connacht in 2014 and has gone on to become a much-loved figure within the province. He made his Ireland debut in 2017 after qualifying on residency grounds and has established himself as a key cog in the national team since.

The New Zealand native has now moved onto a central contract that will keep him with Connacht until the end of the 2022/23 season.

“I am grateful for the opportunity I have been given to represent both Connacht and Ireland and am delighted to extend my IRFU contract,” said Aki of his new deal.

“The whole of Connacht have been incredibly supportive of both me and my family and the Ireland supporters have been fantastic from the very first day I was selected for the national squad.

“Connacht has become home to me and my family and I want to play my part in helping Connacht achieve their ambitious plans in the years to come.”

Aki understandably attracted interest from abroad, but the IRFU is delighted to keep him on Irish soil.

“Bundee has added significant value to both the Ireland and Connacht environments,” said IRFU performance director David Nucifora.

“He has performed at a consistently high level, is a leader and has a positive impact on younger players around him with his insight and the professionalism and diligence of his preparation. 

“We are delighted that he will continue to play a positive role in Irish rugby for years to come.”

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Connacht CEO Willie Ruane also welcomed confirmation of the new deal for Aki, which comes hot on the heels of scrum-half Kieran Marmion committing to the province for another three years.

“Connacht Rugby is delighted that Bundee has extended his contract to 2023,” said Ruane.

“This is the third time that Bundee has committed to Connacht Rugby which reflects not only his belief in what we are doing but also our commitment in supporting him to achieve for both Connacht and Ireland.”

Bernard Jackman and Murray Kinsella join Gavan Casey to discuss eye-gouging, Munster’s scrum-half situation, and the rest of the provincial news.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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