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Bundee Aki: "Eye-Opening" Ireland Training Was A Big Step Up From Pro 14

Bundee Aki: "Eye-Opening" Ireland Training Was A Big Step Up From Pro 14
By Mikey Traynor

Bundee Aki has revealed that he was very nervous when called up for an Ireland training camp over the summer by Joe Schmidt, but that didn't prevent him from enjoying every moment of it.

The Aukland-born centre will be eligible for Ireland selection for the Autumn internationals and was speaking to Sky Sports for a special feature when he revealed that his meetup with the squad was an eye-opener.

Ireland will take on the South Africa, Fiji and Argentina at the Aviva Stadium in November and Joe Schmidt is free to select Aki if he wishes thanks to the allowances made before the controversial residency rule changes, and you get the feeling that he would very much enjoy being involved, even if it does mean a lot more reading.

I think everyone knew that I went to the camp recently and I was very excited, very nervous at the same time. When I got there I was meeting a different kind of people, a different group of lads, I was very excited to see how they do things and stuff like that. It was an eye opener, it’s a big step up from Pro 14 rugby and it was good, I enjoyed every minute of it.

I enjoyed the challenges that were laid out. Obviously, you have to learn a lot of things, a lot of learnings, a lot of books. But look, I enjoyed it, I was very lucky to be in that first camp. There were a few of us (Connacht players) in there so it was good, I just enjoyed every bit.

I’m just taking it one step at a time and obviously I need to play well for Connacht first and see how we go.

Aki came across extremely well in the interview, as expected, always maintaining that his performances for Connacht are the most important thing as they will determine whether or not he does get to pull on a green jersey in the near future.

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Also interesting was the story behind his name. "Bundee" is not the name on his birth certificate, but was instead given to him after his mother agreed to call her son by the name of the doctor who delivered him.

You learn something new every day, and journalists everywhere will thank him for going with the much more keyboard-friendly "Bundee" as opposed to his birth name.

We would highly recommend checking out the interview with Aki, and you can watch it in full over on Sky Sports.

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