Bundee Aki

  • Bundee Aki has returned to the Connacht starting team for their European Challenge Cup Quarter Final against Sale Sharks on Friday night (Kick Off 7:45pm - Live BT Sports 2). This will be Aki's first start for Connacht since featuring in all of Ireland's games in the recent Six Nations Championship.

     The Connacht side will be captained by hooker Tom McCartney, who makes his 100th appearance for the province. Carty also returns to the starting line-up, having come off the bench in the home win over Benetton last weekend. Alongside Carty will be fellow international Kieran Marmion who also featured off the bench last time out.

    In the back three, Darragh Leader is named at full back with Cian Kelleher and Niyi Adeolokun on the wings. Adeolokun makes his first start since November, when he picked up an arm injury against the Toyota Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

    Aki's inclusion in the midfield sees him form a partnership with the versatile Kyle Godwin.

    Up front, props Peter McCabe and Dominic Robertson-McCoy join McCartney in the front row. While in the second row Gavin Thornbury continues his return from injury alongside James Cannon.

    In the back row Eoghan Masterson and James Connolly are named at blindside and openside respectively, with 22 year old Paul Boyle at number 8.

    (15-9) Darragh Leader, Niyi Adeolokun, Kyle Godwin, Bundee Aki, Cian Kelleher, Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion, (1-8) Peter McCabe, Tom McCartney (Capt), Dominic Robertson-McCoy, James Cannon, Gavin Thornbury, Eoghan Masterson, James Connolly, Paul Boyle.

    Replacements (16-23): Dave Heffernan, Denis Buckley, Finlay Bealham, Joe Maksymiw, Robin Copeland, Caolin Blade, Tom Daly, Stephen Fitzgerald.

     

  • Bundee Aki could be set to return against Leinster following his three match ban after the Samoa game.

    The Irish Independent reports that because Aki hasn’t played since the 12th of October he could be available for Connacht’s showdown with Ospreys on the 2nd of November.

    However, there is some confusion from World Rugby’s statement as to whether Aki received a three-week or three-match ban.

    If it is confirmed as a three match ban then Aki won’t return until the Western provinces’ clash with Leinster in the PRO 14 on the 8th of November.  

  • Connacht's Bundee Aki has signed a three-year contract extension that will keep him at the Sportsground up to the end of the 2022/23 season.

     

    It's the first full IRFU central contract for a Connacht player.

     

    Aki joined Connacht in 2014 and has played for the province 92 times, scoring 18 tries.

     

    He was selected as the Pro12 Player of the season in 2016 when the side won the championship.

  • Bundee Aki will make his first start of the season for Connacht against the Scarlets at the Sportsground tomorrow.

    The Irish international has been named in the centre as one of six changes.

    Former Munster back row Robin Copeland will make his debut for the Province in the at Number 8.

    Kick-off tomorrow at the Sportsground is at 5.15pm.

  • Bundee Aki will earn his 100th cap for Connacht in Sunday’s clash with Ulster.

    Alex Wooton and Peter O'Sullivan will make their debuts on the wings.

    New signings Ian Madigan and Alby Mathewson will be on the bench for Ulster.

  • Connacht have been boosted by confirmation that Bundee Aki will be available to face Leinster in their first interprovincial game of the season, as well as their return to Champions Cup rugby the following week.

    Aki will sit out the final game of his 3-match suspension away to Ospreys on Saturday - a ban that was handed down when he became the first Irish player to be sent off in a World Cup match, against Samoa earlier this month - but he will be back when Connacht take on Leinster on Friday week 8th November.

    Out-half Jack Carty will also make his return for the derby with Leinster at the Sportsground, following his impressive World Cup, after both internationals were pencilled in for training next week.

     

  • Connacht Rugby has announced a new home kit for the 2019/2020 season and it is available across all Elvery’s Sports stores in the province.

    The Pro 14 side have launched their new kit this morning with Bundee Aki, Jarad Butler and Sean O’Brien among the poster boss for the new blended green look.

    The first chance to see the new jersey in action will be in the developmental Celtic Cup games at the end of August, as Connacht’s young guns put their hands up for senior selection next year.

  • Bundee Aki has been banned for four matches following his red card in Saturday’s Six Nations win over England.

    The Connacht centre was dismissed for a high challenge on Billy Vunipola.

    Aki conceded his tackle was inches too high, and a six-week ban was imposed.

    Two weeks were chalked off due to his previous disciplinary record.

    It means Aki will definitely miss Connacht’s Challenge Cup last-16 trip to Leicester, and the quarter-final should they qualify.

  • Connacht's Bundee Aki is a doubt for the visit of Munster in the Guinness Pro14 on Saturday.

    The Ireland centre picked up a knock in last weekend's victory over Ulster and might not be risked this week.

    Winger Matt Healy is in contention to return for the Westerners but full-back Tiernan O'Halloran remains sidelined.

  • Head coach Andy Farrell says Ross Byrne deserves his start at out-half against England.

    He replaces the injured Jonathan Sexton for the Autumn Nations Cup game at Twickenham on Saturday.

    Connacht's Bundee Aki comes in for Robbie Henshaw in the centre, while Keith Earls replaces Andrew Conway on the wing.

    CJ Stander replaces Josh van der Flier in the only change to the pack.

    Jacob Stockdale and Iain Henderson are both among the replacements.

  • Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has named his side to face England in their final Guinness Six Nations game at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

    There are a number of changes to the starting 15 that lined out against Scotland last weekend.

    Garry Ringrose is ruled out through injury so Bundee Aki slots in at inside centre with Robbie Henshaw shifting to No.13.

    Jacob Stockdale returns to the team for the first time this year and is named on the left wing with Keith Earls on and Hugo Keenan completing the back three.

    In the front row, Dave Kilcoyne starts at loosehead alongside Rob Herring at hooker and Tadhg Furlong at tighthead.  

    Tadhg Beirne moves into lock to partner Iain Henderson in the absence of the injured James Ryan.

    Will Connors was ruled out yesterday with a knee injury in training so Josh van der Flier comes in at openside.

    CJ Stander moves to 6 for his final Ireland game in Aviva Stadium and Jack Conan is named at No.8.

  • A last-minute try from Bundee Aki has stretched Connacht’s winning run in the Pro 14 to three matches.

    The Ireland centre crossed the whitewash to give Andy Friend’s side a 19-17 victory away to Benetton.

    The win cements Connacht’s second-placed spot in Conference B.