Sunday 16 December 2018

Bundee will lift squad for huge run-in

Bundee Aki celebrates after Ireland’s victory in Twickenham. Photo: Paul Harding/PA Wire
Bundee Aki celebrates after Ireland’s victory in Twickenham. Photo: Paul Harding/PA Wire

Noel Mannion

Bundee Aki has played a major role in Ireland's Grand Slam success this season, and sometimes it can be difficult to step back into your normal environment after the highs of that, writes Noel Mannion. 

Aki will be very important for Connacht in the next few weeks and it's not easy to do what he has to do. You are coming away from the Joe Schmidt focus and it will be a whole new set of calls, and new team-mates again.

It will be a while since he's been involved in the Sportsground too. I don't know the guy but I would imagine he will be buzzing, he will be hopping, and he will want to take control of that Connacht midfield again. 

In fairness to Connacht it was them that gave Aki the platform to achieve what he has achieved in the last month. I would imagine that he will be out to repay what they have done for him, especially in that vital Gloucester game.

Kieran Marmion is an academy graduate and he will go back with the usual high standards and probably take one or two new things from what he has seen on the international stage. He might be able to adapt that to the Connacht set-up.

More importantly it will be the experience he brings and that will hopefully be infectious and it should brush off on the other players as well.

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