The Chiefs have wasted no time in snapping up standout Counties Manukau back Bundee Aki - though the midfielder is unlikely to be the last of the talented young Steelers backline to have Super Rugby contracts waved under their noses.
The Chiefs announced their latest signing today, with the 22-year-old Counties Manukau utility signed for the 2013 season.
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said Aki deserved his callup, after being one of the best players for the development team in 2012 and getting called into the wider training squad on the back of that form.
"Bundee has been outstanding for Counties Manukau in the NPC so we were excited to have him in our mix," said Rennie.
The former bank teller is ecstatic about getting his first crack at Super Rugby.
"I got a taste of the Chiefs environment when I became involved in both of the Chiefs squads and really learned a lot," he said.
"The rugby knowledge of the management team is fantastic and I am eager to further myself in the game and feel the Chiefs is an ideal environment to do this in."
The father of two has played for Counties Manukau through the age-groups and is a former New Zealand under-20 trialist.
Given the form of Tana Umaga's Steelers in this NPC, and the way their young backline has torn apart opposition defensive lines, it's likely that a number of so-far-unsigned Counties players will be in the sights of New Zealand's Super Rugby coaches as they round out their squads for 2013.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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