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Bundee Aki names the Lions player he has learnt the most from on South Africa tour

bundee aki lions

“I’ve learnt so much off that guy.”

Bundee Aki said he was having the time of his life on the British & Irish Lions tour and that the players had formed a strong bond as they head into their decisive test against South Africa on Saturday.

The Ireland international also named the Lions player he has learnt the most from on the tour – England’s Owen Farrell.

Bundee Aki on his experience of the Lions tour.

The conclusion of the eight-match, six-week tour is a decider against the Springboks with Aki among six changes to the team named by coach Warren Gatland for the game at Cape Town Stadium.

It will be his first test after being in the stands for the first two, but it has not stopped the New Zealand-born Ireland international from having an experience of a lifetime.

“The time I’ve had here has been honestly unbelievable,” he told a press conference in Cape Town on Tuesday.

“I don’t say this lightly but I’ve honestly had the best time of my life being a part of this group.

“You will only know how well we all get along as a team if you were around us. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time being here.”

Bundee Aki on learning from Owen Farrell.

Players that are usually on opposite sides of the pitch in Six Nations tussles are now closer friends, like England captain Owen Farrell, previously an old adversary.

“I’ve learnt so much off that guy, I get along with him so well,” Aki said.

“I only knew him from across the pitch, playing against him, but he’s a great bloke to have around. We’ve been hanging around every day.”

Aki comes into the Lions midfield alongside Robbie Henshaw, who he played with at Connacht and for Ireland.

“We’ve been close mates. I’m absolutely blessed to be a team mate of Robbie and played so many games with him. We’ve just got to make sure we do what we do best as a partnership.”

Aki on starting for the Lions in third test.

The 31-year-old Aki is one of four changes in the backline after the Lions lost 27-9 in the second test last Saturday. He replaces Scotland international Chris Harris.

“I’m delighted I’ve got the nod but we’ve got a job to do. I’m looking forward to it, trying to keep my feet on the ground and make sure I do the job I need to do,” he said.

“It’s a huge honour to play for this prestigious team. I’m grateful for the opportunity I’m getting this week, not many people get a test cap. I’m going to relish the time I have on the pitch,” he added.


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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.