New Zealand-born centre Bundee Aki will be fired up to play against the All Blacks for Ireland on Saturday, according to Kieran Marmion.


Aki will play at 12 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday when the Irish bid to defeat the only team above them in the Test rankings.

Although he hails from Auckland, the 28-year-old made his international debut for Ireland last November, having been with club side Connacht since 2014.

And Marmion believes the prospect of facing New Zealand this weekend will only serve as an inspiration to Aki.

“Playing the All Blacks won’t bother him too much,” Marmion told the Irish Times.

“It will probably just fire him up a bit more. We expect Bundee to go straight into them; he won’t hold back. He will relish the challenge. It will be a pretty good spectacle to watch.”


Marmion has spent the week sharing a room with his Connacht colleague and revealed that Aki is champing at the bit to play.

“He chatted quite a bit to me about it and I know he can’t wait to get out there and have a shot at these guys,” Marmion added.

“I am sure he will know he needs to stay calm and not be stupid. I am sure he is smart enough to that, as well.

“They will come looking for him, but he has played enough rugby and has enough experience to know not to do anything stupid. He is a tough lad so he will get on with it.”


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