“Which I Thought Was A Touch Of Class” – Aki Moved By Lions’ Father’s Day Gesture For Players
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It’s no doubt tough for the British and Irish Lions players knowing they’re going to be away from their families for so long during such uncertain times – but some Father’s Day magic was brought to them in Jersey on Sunday.
The players are currently away in camp preparing for this weekend’s curtain-raiser against Japan at Murrayfield, but the Lions staff made sure they knew how much they were missed during a team meeting at the weekend.
Videos sent in from various family members were shown to all the players and it’s fair to say – it meant a hell of a lot as they prepare to fly over to South Africa and spend even more time away from their loved ones.
One man who was seriously impressed by the gesture, and completely moved, was Ireland and Connacht centre Bundee Aki.
“We were all in a team meeting and they put up videos of everyone’s family who sent in videos which I thought was a touch of class,” Aki said
“When the videos came through of my family and my girl was talking, I didn’t want to show emotion but there were a lot of goosebumps.”
“It just goes to show that everything everybody is doing here is obviously for their families. It’s tough not being around your family at these kinds of times but at the end of the day you’re doing it for them and it just gives us a bit of a push.”
The whole of Ireland will be cheering on Aki when he’s in South Africa with support set to come for the centre from all parts of the world.
“Dad is working in Australia and mum is at home [in New Zealand],” Aki revealed.
“I have uncles and aunties in Samoa as well so there will be a lot of people supporting me.”
For Aki, family is everything.
“I do everything I can to provide for my family and put them first,” Aki added.
“When the Lions squad was announced, I certainly shed a few tears with my wife and my parents on the phone.
“Just this moment, talking about it now, I’m getting a few goosebumps because the sacrifices we made as a family, the sacrifices we did to let us take this journey, have been unbelievable and they are coming to fruition.
“I have a lot of people to thank for that, especially all my coaches in the past, my family, and especially my wife who sacrificed a lot for me to be able to do what I want to do.”