The IRFU (Irish Rugby Football Union) is delighted to announce that Bundee Aki has signed a new contract and will remain with Connacht until the end of the 2024/25 season.
Aki signed for Connacht in 2014 after two years with the Chiefs in New Zealand, where he won a Super Rugby title. The centre made an immediate impact on the province, helping the side win the PRO12 in 2016.
He made his international debut against South Africa in 2017 and has become a mainstay in the Ireland squad since then, winning his most recent cap during Rugby World Cup 2023 where he displayed a consistent run of form. In 52 Ireland appearances to date, he has scored 15 tries.
In 2021 he became the fourth player from Connacht to play for the British & Irish Lions. In all, the 33-year-old has represented the westerners 127 times.
Commenting on the announcement, Aki said: “Playing in Ireland means the world to me and I am delighted to sign a contract extension with the IRFU and Connacht.
Since moving to Galway nine years ago, Ireland has become a home from home and I am incredibly grateful to my coaches, team-mates and supporters for making my family and I so welcome here.
“We’ve made great friends and incredible memories together and I am excited about the talent that is coming through across the country.
“I believe that there are more great days to come in the green of Connacht and Ireland, and I am hugely excited about what the future holds.”
IRFU Performance Director David Nucifora commented: “The IRFU is committed to developing and retaining high quality players and we are delighted that Bundee has agreed this contract extension, coming so soon after a string of impressive displays for Ireland at the Rugby World Cup.
“Bundee is a hugely popular player who has given an enormous amount to both Connacht and Irish Rugby over a long period of time, and we are all thrilled he has committed to this contract extension.”
Connacht head coach Pete Wilkins added:
Bundee has made a huge contribution to Connacht Rugby over the almost 10 years that he has been here.
“He is one of the best players in world rugby and his performances at the Rugby World Cup were further evidence of that, so we are obviously delighted that he has chosen to continue his future with the Connacht and Ireland.
“His commitment to Connacht reflects not just the passion he has for this province, but also the belief that he has in this team.
“We look forward to welcoming him back after his much-needed break, and I have no doubt every Connacht fan will show him how much he means to us all when he next runs out at the Sportsground.”