Bundee Aki’s comments on what Ireland means to him hit hard


Bundee Aki may not have been born in Ireland but the Emerald Isle has adopted him as one of their own – and it means the world to him.

Aki arrived on Irish shores back in 2014, quickly becoming a fan favourite at Connacht, moving to the West of Ireland despite interest from the other provinces for his signature.

In 2016, against all odds he played a key role as Connacht lifted the old PRO12 championship, instantly gaining legendary status as a result before going on to play for Ireland in 2017 after completing his residency.

Since then he’s been ever-present for the men in green, elevating himself to new levels last year as he was nominated for World Rugby Player of the Year and named in the ‘Dream Team’ following an incredible showing at the World Cup.

His form has even seen him selected for the Lions, traveling with the famous touring side back in 2021. So what does Ireland mean to Bundee Aki? This hits hard.

“I would say ‘love’,” Aki said when asked what word best sums up his relationship with Ireland.

“I love playing for Ireland. 

“I love the people in Ireland.

“They’ve given nothing but love, and I could only show it back through the way I play and the way I represent the country.

“It means a lot. It means a lot.”

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