Rugby World Player nominee receives a shocking contract extension with Ireland…

Bundee Aki, who has been nominated for the world player of the year for his outstanding performances with Ireland during their Six Nations Grand Slam victory and at the World Cup, has extended his contract with the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) until 2025.

Aki, a 33-year-old center, was a standout player for Ireland at the World Cup in France, where they narrowly missed reaching the semi-finals after a thrilling 28-24 defeat to New Zealand.

The New Zealand-born player, who represents Connacht, has bounced back from a challenging 2019 World Cup experience that included a red card against Samoa and a heavy quarter-final loss to the All Blacks.

Aki expressed his delight at the contract extension, emphasizing his strong connection to Ireland since moving to Galway nine years ago. He praised his coaches, teammates, and supporters for making him and his family feel at home in Ireland.

This extension is positive news for head coach Andy Farrell, who had already seen two Test centurions, Johnny Sexton and Keith Earls, retire. Aki, with 53 caps since his debut in 2017, expressed his enthusiasm to continue, citing the promising young talent that bodes well for Ireland’s future success under Farrell’s leadership.

IRFU High Performance Director David Nucifora welcomed the extension, highlighting Aki’s popularity and significant contributions to Connacht and Irish rugby. Nucifora also noted Aki’s recent impressive displays at the Rugby World Cup.

Aki’s next Test appearance for Ireland is expected to be in the highly-anticipated Six Nations opener against the 2022 Grand Slam champions, France, in Marseille on February 2.

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