Aki keeping mum on international future

Date published: April 12 2017

Connacht centre Bundee Aki is not letting speculation surrounding his international rugby future distract him from helping his club defend their PRO12 crown.

Having joined the Irish side in April 2014, Aki will be available for selection by Ireland before the November internationals against South Africa and Argentina take place.

However, the Auckland-born number 12 is also eligible to play for New Zealand or Samoa. The PRO12 2015-16 player of the season is held in high esteem in world rugby circles and is keeping his cards close to his chest, preferring to focus on putting one good performance in after another at club level, according to the Independent.

“You’re right, I do want to play at the highest level, which is international rugby, but I need to focus on Connacht,” Aki told the Irish Independent.

“I can’t think ahead of myself. Ireland have quality players. Geez, they have a lot of good players there. I can’t parachute my way in there. I got to just put my head down and do what I want to do, perform week in week out, perform consistently. When the time arises, it arises but for the moment my focus is just Connacht.”

The 27-year-old signed a new three year deal with the province at the start of the current campaign which many felt was a sign he had chosen Ireland.

But Aki, who was named in the Barbarians’ squad for the matches against Ulster and England in June, insists he is no closer to making a decision.

“I haven’t really thought about how I am going to make that decision,” added Aki.

“I have been asked that question a few times and I know people think I have been thinking about it but I really haven’t. I’ve only just come back from injury. All I want to do is keep my performance up to a high standard. That’s all I can do.”

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