Bundee Aki rugby player
Bundee Aki rugby player

Bundee Aki

7th Apr 1990 1.82m/101kg Inside Centre

Aki was born in the Auckland suburb of Otahuhu. He was a student at Manurewa High School in the city, where he played for the school's rugby team.

Aki took a year out from pursuing a professional rugby career in 2011, when he worked as a bank teller at Westpac to earn the money for his young family.

Aki was involved with the Chiefs wider training group in 2012. On the back of a superb ITM Cup season for Counties Manukau, Aki earned his first Super Rugby contract.

He was named the Counties Manukau Steelers Player of the Year and was awarded Player’s Player of the Year by his team mates. After 2 seasons and 25 appearances for the Chiefs, Aki left the Waikato based side and moved to Irish side Connacht for the 2014/15 season.

In May 2016, he was recognized with the Players' Player of the Year honour at the Pro12 end of year awards ceremony.

After 47 appearances for Connacht, the charismatic centre signed a contract extension that will see him with the club until at least 2020.

In May 2017, after being originally announced in the Barbarians squad - Aki underwent a surgery on an ongoing shoulder injury and missed out on a chance to get a taste for international rugby.

He returned in time for the start of the Pro 14 season and featured in all 6 of Connacht's opening fixtures.

In October 2017, he was named as one of four uncapped players in the Ireland squad for the November Tests against South Africa, Fiji and Argentina.

Aki qualifies for Ireland having completed the required three years of residency for his adopted country after joining club side Connacht from the Chiefs in 2014.

In January 2018, he was named in Ireland's 35-man squad for the 2018 Six Nations, where he looks to add to his 2 caps.

(LS January 22, 2018)

Career

connacht Connacht Rugby
Inside Centre
2014 - present
ireland Ireland
Inside Centre
2017 - present
chiefs Chiefs
Outside Centre
2013 - 2014
counties Counties Manukau
Inside Centre