Bundee Aki

Bundee Aki apologises for wrongly criticising referee in European Champions Cup loss

Aki was seen angrily remonstrating with French referee Mathieu Raynal over the awarding of a 79th minute match-winning try to Leicester Tigers’ wing Hosea Saumaki in Galway on Saturday (Sunday NZ time).

The score enabled Leicester to win the European Champions Cup clash 29-28 after trailing by 18 points.

Aki and the Connacht crowd – who booed the decision – were convinced Saumaki had put a foot in touch during his sideline dash.


Auckland-born Bundee Aki to debut for British and Irish Lions

The fixture, the first-ever between the Lions and Japan, has been organised to help Gatland’s team prepare for the upcoming tour of South Africa which will culminate in a three-test series against World Cup champions, the Springboks.

Auckland-born Aki, who attended Manurewa High School, moved to Ireland in 2014 to play for Connacht, and made his debut for his adopted country in 2017 under New Zealand coach Joe Schmidt.

Aki will make his debut for the Lions against the Brave Blossoms, who are coached by Kiwis Jamie Joseph and Tony Brown, at Murrayfield.

Sam Simmonds makes cut but Bundee Aki is the shock Lions bolter

Simmonds, the Exeter number eight and current European player of the year, has been picked by Gatland despite being consistently overlooked by England since winning the last of his seven caps in 2018.

He is joined by fellow bolters and centres Bundee Aki of Ireland and Scotland’s Chris Harris, with Manu Tuilagi left out as he approaches his comeback from an Achilles injury.

However, Sexton is unable to force his way into the 37-man squad announced by Gatland, as are Jonathan Davies, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola and Josh Navidi.

Bundee Aki try earns dramatic victory for Connacht

With the sides tied at 14-14 heading into the last five minutes, Edoardo Padovani’s penalty looked to have secured a first win in the competition this season for the Italians.

However, Aki touched down following a driving maul at the death to secure an important win in Connacht’s bid to chase down Conference B leaders Munster.

The Westerners trailed their fellow Irish province by nine points heading to Italy, with Munster playing Cardiff Blues later on Friday before a meeting with Connacht at Thomond Park next weekend.

Bundee Aki hits beast mode on 100th cap as Connacht prove too strong for Ulster

Two crisply-created scores from John Porch after 11 minutes and Kieran Marmion after 22 had Connacht leading 14-6 at half-time, the westerners looking particularly sharp in their first game at Irish Rugby Football Union HQ since 1989.

Ulster, whose play-off qualification was confirmed by Edinburgh’s win over Glasgow Warriors on Saturday night, could only muster two John Cooney penalties until Jacob Stockdale crossed six minutes into the second half.

Bundee Aki handed three week ban

The New Zealand born player was sent off in the 47-5 Pool A win over the Samoans in Fukuoka on Saturday, for a high tackle on UJ Seuteni.

Aki faced a disciplinary hearing in Tokyo on Monday night, contesting the red card decision in a bid to be available for Saturday's World Cup quarter-final against New Zealand.

But the 29-year-old failed in that quest and was hit with a three-week ban, that would even rule him out of the World Cup final, should Ireland make it that far.

Aki hoping to achieve 'proud' moment against Samoa

The Ireland juggernaut centre admitted it would be a source of huge family pride should he get the nod to take on Samoa in Fukuoka on Saturday.

Aki was born in Auckland to Samoan parents and starred with the Chiefs before joining Connacht in 2014, committing to Ireland in both rugby and community.

The 29-year-old conjured a barnstorming performance when Ireland dispatched New Zealand 16-9 in Dublin in November, producing the perfect riposte to All Blacks coach Ian Foster who had questioned his residency qualification.