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Bundee Aki to escape ban for ref outburst after Connacht defeat

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Bundee Aki confronted referee Mathieu Raynal after the final whistle against Leicester. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Bundee Aki confronted referee Mathieu Raynal after the final whistle against Leicester. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Bundee Aki confronted referee Mathieu Raynal after the final whistle against Leicester. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Bundee Aki will be available to face Stade Francais in Connacht's final Heineken Champions Cup pool game of the season.

The Ireland centre will not be cited for his outburst in the direction of referee Mathieu Raynal at the end of his side's defeat to Leicester Tigers at the Sportsground on Saturday, it is understood.

Aki issued an apology after the game after letting his frustrations get the better of him as he protested Hosea Saumaki's last-gasp try that rescued a 29-28 win for the English Premiership leaders.

Aki believed the winger put his foot in touch in the act of scoring.

"Like to apologise about my action towards the referee and officials, kids who were watching. Absolutely not needed in this game,” Aki wrote on Twitter.

"Emotions were high and that is certainly not an excuse for my actions. Definitely will take the loss on the chin and will be looking at myself."

The decision not to cite Aki will come as a relief to Connacht coach Andy Friend and Ireland coach Andy Farrell, who is expected to include the centre in his squad later this week.

Connacht are on the cusp of qualifying for the knockouts for the first time in their history.

A point away to Stade Francais would secure their place in the last 16, but they'll be assured of their place if Castres don't beat Harlequins on Friday night.

The game against Stade will be key to their seeding and having their talismanic centre on board will be a major boost.

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