Duo commits to Connacht

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 11:00
Large aki and dillane connacht ru

NEWS: Bundee Aki and Ultan Dillane have both signed contract extensions with Pro12 champions Connacht.

Aki has signed a three-year extension to bring his stay at Connacht up to 020. Since arriving in 2014, the charismatic centre has made 47 appearances for Connacht and was instrumental in the club's PRO12 title success last season. Aki's skill set, physicality, and work rate on and off the ball saw him earn plenty of recognition in the sporting world and in the last campaign the New Zealander was voted the PRO12 and Connacht Rugby Player of the Year.

Second row Dillane has signed a two-year extension to his current deal. The powerful ball carrier made his 34th appearance for Connacht in Sunday's bonus-point, Champions Cup win over Zebre. Dillane graduated from the Connacht Academy in 2015 and made his international debut for Ireland in the 2016 6 Nations when he was called on as a replacement against England at Twickenham.  The 22-year-old made a further four appearances in the Ireland shirt including two test matches against the Springboks during the summer tour of South Africa.

Commenting on the latest contract news, Connacht CEO Willie Ruane said: "Both Bundee [Aki] and Ultan [Dillane] made it clear from the start that they were keen to stay and play their rugby with Connacht. They are truly committed to the overall vision for the province and their signatures are a big boost to the future of Connacht Rugby. We're delighted, for the two players and for our supporters, to be able to share this news,"

While head coach Pat Lam is just as pleased about the news.

"I'm really pleased that Bundee [Aki] and Ultan [Dillane]  have committed their futures to Connacht Rugby. Two talented rugby players, naturally their performances have attracted a lot of attention and there is no doubt that they had options in terms of where they could play. But I believe it is a massive statement about what we are doing here as a team and an organisation that they were both so determined to continue to play their part," Lam said.

While Aki added: "The last two years with Connacht Rugby have been incredible. I moved over here not really knowing what to expect but this place has become home to me and my family now. I am proud to be part of this Connacht team and I'm excited to see what we can achieve together,"

And Dillane said: "Connacht Rugby has given me so many opportunities since I started in the Academy and I'm delighted to have signed on again. I am enjoying my rugby so much here and am excited about the future of this team and the province,"

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Connacht v Edinburgh 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Scarlets 22h00 Thomond Park
Dragons v Cheetahs 22h00 Rodney Parade
Ospreys v Leinster 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 22h00 Scotstoun
Kings v Treviso 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Jaguares v Lions 21h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 16 13 1 2 65
Munster 17 10 0 7 54
Cheetahs 17 9 0 8 47
Cardiff Blues 17 9 0 8 42
Connacht 17 6 0 11 33
Ospreys 16 6 0 10 30
Zebre 16 4 0 12 22
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 17 13 1 3 64
Scarlets 17 12 1 4 61
Edinburgh 17 12 0 5 55
Ulster 16 9 1 6 46
Treviso 17 8 0 9 40
Dragons 17 2 2 13 17
Kings 17 1 0 16 9