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Aki takes his chance at Chiefs

05th March 2013 12:38

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Bundee Aki Chiefs pre season 2013

Bundee Aki: Surprised to be in starting XV

New Chiefs centre Bundee Aki admits that he is still coming to terms with his rapid riseat the Hamilton-based franchise.

Aki admits that he was shocked when he was included in the Chiefs' starting line-up for their opener - a 41-27 win against the Highlanders.

His performance against the Highlanders' veteran All Blacks midfielder Ma'a Nonu was so good that he held onto his place in the Chiefs' run-on side for their next match - a 45-3 triumph over the Cheetahs.

"I am surprised with the starts - I never thought I'd actually be here and starting for the past few games," Aki told Sportal.

The 21-year-old made a name for himself while playing for ITM Cup Championship winners Counties Manukau last year.

Although he is doing well at the Chiefs, Aki admits that playing at Super Rugby level is a daunting task.

"It's a big step up from ITM," he added.

"It's a bigger, faster tempo. That's probably the hardest thing, is trying to get my head around that pace."

He said the Chiefs' more experienced players has made the adjustment easier.

Senior guys around me Cruds [Aaron Cruden], Sam [Cane], Timmy [Tim Nanai Williams] - they've all done it so have their support has got me to where I am now."

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1Crusaders1651
2Chiefs1644
3Highlanders1642
4Hurricanes1641
5Blues1637