NZ-born star called up by Ireland

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 16:00
Large bundee aki connacht v wasps 800

SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has called up New Zealand-born centre Bundee Aki for the upcoming November internationals.

Aki has recently become eligible for Ireland after completing his three years of residence.

The centre has been with Connacht since 2014 after heading to Ireland from Super Rugby outfit the Chiefs.

Ireland will face South Africa, Fiji, and Argentina in November.

Ireland face the Springboks for the first time since the 2016 tour where Ireland recorded a first-ever victory on South African soil at Newlands but ultimately lost the series decider. 

Earlier this month the Boks came within a point of beating the All Blacks in their final game of this year's Rugby Championship having twice drawn with Australia and recorded victories home and away against the Pumas.   
The Bok squad will be led by the 63-time capped lock Eben Etzebeth with their full European tour travelling party set to be named after the Currie Cup Final.
"In what we anticipate will be an incredibly physical Series plenty will be demanded of the squad," said Schmidt.
"We have retained a core of experienced players but have also included a number of promising players that we hope will acquit themselves well."
Ireland squad: 

Forwards: Rory Best, Jack Conan, Ultan Dillane, Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Dave Kilcoyne, Dan Leavy, Jack McGrath, Sean O'Brien, Tommy O'Donnell, Peter O'Mahony, Andrew Porter, Rhys Ruddock, James Ryan, John Ryan, Christiaan Stander, Devin Toner, James Tracy, Kieran Treadwell.    
Backs: Bundee Aki, Adam Byrne, Joey Carbery, Andrew Conway, Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Robbie Henshaw, Dave Kearney, Rob Kearney, Ian Keatley, Kieran Marmion, Stuart McCloskey, Luke McGrath, Conor Murray, Johnny Sexton, Jacob Stockdale, Darren Sweetnam.