Joe Schmidt Wonderfully Defends Bundee Aki & His Ireland Selection
Well said Joe.
Bundee Aki has made a lot of headlines over the last few weeks for all the wrong reasons. The New Zealand-born centre is the latest project player to declare for Ireland, with the usual arguments once again surfacing.
Whether or not you agree with the three-year rule, which is soon to be a five-year rule, it’s completely unfair to criticise the player himself, which is what a lot of well-know rugby figures, as well as fans have done in recent weeks.
Joe Schmidt named Aki in his starting line-up today for this weekend’s Test with South Africa, and the Ireland boss says he sympatises with a man who he feels has invested ‘incredibly well’ to the west of Ireland.
“Sometimes where you’re born is less relevant than where you’re invested over the last period of time.
“I think Bundee has invested incredibly well in the west. They have benefited from his commitment, his ability and his durability.
“It’s sometimes an unfortunate distraction, I do feel a little bit of sympathy for Bundee himself. He’s just doing what he loves doing, and what he’s good at. We just hope it doesn’t distract him. There’s no doubt in the players’ minds, that they are excited to have him in the group.”
Welcome to international rugby Bundee. We’ll be cheering you on this Saturday, and that’s a fact.