BREAKING NEWS
Mark Weldon steps down as CEO of TV3 parent company MediaWorks ... Read more
Close

Bundee Aki to leave Chiefs, signs for Connacht

LIAM NAPIER
Last updated 05:00 13/04/2014
Bundee Aki
Photosport
GAME CHANGER: Bundee Aki celebrates after scoring for the Chiefs against the Crusaders.

Relevant offers

Super Rugby

Super Rugby Team Talk: Is Taranaki happy with the Chiefs, and move over Fitzy Time for Crusaders to shine in Super Rugby without Nemani Nadolo Dean Mumm owns up to spreading illness on NSW Waratahs tour to South Africa Waisake Naholo, Marty Banks poised for return to injury-hit Highlanders Several question marks for Chiefs team ahead of local derby with Highlanders Super Rugby sensation Damian McKenzie re-signs with Chiefs for two years Super Rugby Power Rankings - week 10 Stormers winger Leolin Zas gets two week ban for dangerous tackle on Bernard Foley Marc Hinton: Australian rugby's Keystone Kops routine is no laughing matter Waratahs star Kurtley Beale just wants Wallabies starting spot despite debate

Chiefs and Counties Manukau second five-eighth Bundee Aki will depart New Zealand after the NPC season. 

The 24-year-old, who burst on to the All Blacks' radar last year, is understood to have signed a three-year deal with Pat Lam's Irish club Connacht. 

Aki has been indentified as a "project player" and while eligable for Samoa, he hopes to eventually qualify for Ireland under residency rules.

This trend is expected to continue from the Celtic clubs in an effort to compete with the French riches.

Aki's exit will be keenly felt with depth in the midfield a concern. 

He will be in good Kiwi company on the west coast of Ireland as the New Zealand contingent at Connacht grows. Last year former Chiefs captain Craig Clarke joined the Irish province to add more Kiwi grunt to the forwards alongside Nathan White and Rodney Ah You. 

By far the weakest of Ireland's four provinces, in terms of funding and playing talent, Lam has turned around a season that looked to be headed in a wooden spoon direction.

The former Blues coach has managed to bring his team to a respectable mid-table position in the Rabo Pro 12, while also masterminding a stunning defeat of European aristocrats Toulouse on French soil in the Heineken Cup. 

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers
Opinion poll

Which 2015 NZ Super Rugby team looks best?

Blues

Chiefs

Crusaders

Highlanders

Hurricanes

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content