Bundee Aki is a powerful and impactful centre who is one of the world’s best players. A regular for Connacht and Ireland, he’s a true star of rugby union and has the world at his feet.
On 7 April 1990, Bundee Aki was born in Auckland, New Zealand as Fua Leiofi Bundellu Aki. The nickname ‘Bundee’ was given to him by a rugby coach at under-age level and it has stuck ever since.
Bundee Aki grew up in South Auckland and played rugby at Manurewa High School. However, in his younger years, he took a year out of the game and worked as a bank teller.
Ever since, Bundee Aki has been fully immersed in the world of rugby. In 2011, he signed for Counties Manukau, where he stayed until 2014. During this period, he helped the side achieve promotion to the Premiership Division. At this time, he also made 25 appearances for the Chiefs, who he won a Super Rugby title with.
However, at the conclusion of the 2014 season, Bundee Aki moved to Connacht in the PRO12 (now the PRO14). He immediately made an impact after moving to Ireland and was voted as the league’s player of the season in 2015-16. During the same season, he captured the PRO12 title with the side.
In 2017, Bundee Aki qualified to play for Ireland after completing a residency period while playing for Connacht. He chose to play for Ireland rather than New Zealand or Samoa.
Ever since, Bundee Aki has put in some phenomenal performances for Ireland and he played a vital role when they captured the 2018 Six Nations Championship. He played in every game of the tournament as Ireland sealed the Grand Slam.
Due to his stellar performances for Ireland over the past few years, it was recently announced that Bundee Aki had been selected for the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa in 2021.
With several years of top-class rugby ahead of him, we can’t wait to see what else Bundee Aki can achieve in the game.