Saturday 3 December 2016

Confirmed: Bundee Aki agrees bumper long-term deal with Connacht while Ultan Dillane signs new two year contract

Published 25/10/2016 | 02:30

Bundee Aki has turned down offers from Bordeaux and Munster and committed his future to Connacht, following Ultan Dillane in signing a new deal with the province.

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Tralee native Dillane had been strongly linked with a move to Munster but he will now remain in Galway after agreeing a two year extension, while Aki's new contract will run until 2020.

Retaining the duo represents a major boost for Connacht coach Pat Lam, who lost a quartet of key players and two members of his backroom staff last summer after winning the Guinness Pro12 for the first time.

Aki, who qualifies to play for Ireland next year, is set to become the province's highest earner on €350,000-400,000 a year after becoming a key man since joining from the Chiefs in 2014.

“The last two years with Connacht Rugby have been incredible," Aki said in a statement on the Connacht website.

"I moved over here not really knowing what to expect but this place has become home to me and my family now. I am proud to be part of this Connacht team and I’m excited to see what we can achieve together.”

Dillane, meanwhile, was one of the breakout stars of last season as he made his international debut on the back of his rampaging performances in the green jersey.

As a result, he attracted strong interest from Munster but he his home-coming has been put on the long-finger for now.

Irish Independent

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