Sport Connacht Rugby

Thursday 20 September 2018

Bundee hits sweet notes for Ireland

Bundee Aki during Ireland squad training at Carton House in Maynooth, Kildare. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Bundee Aki during Ireland squad training at Carton House in Maynooth, Kildare. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

I thought Bundee Aki did really well during the November series. He obviously got the plaudits for a noteworthy debut display against South Africa, but against Argentina I thought he was equally impressive in some of the unseen graft work.

From a defensive point of view, the number and efficacy of his chop tackles, and then speed off the ground and back into the line was top-notch and didn't seem to wane, even in the later stages of the game.

For Connacht people know Bundee for his physicality in the centre but you can see Joe Schmidt has entrusted him with more of a distribution role at 12.

This is something he looked very comfortable with, despite a few timing issues with Chris Farrell, something that was inevitable in a new centre pairing.

All in all it was a well-rounded performance from him.

Whilst Bundee is obviously a very talented player, what has got him to where he is, in my opinion, is his work ethic.

He is an excellent trainer and puts a massive amount of time into his analysis, extras in training and game preparation.

His experience playing under Schmidt should only make him better and hopefully when he returns to the Connacht shirt he will have gone up another level again.

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