Brian O'Driscoll offers straightforward advice to Bundee Aki after his unhappy tweet
The Bundee Aki tweet from December 5 has now been deleted but the unhappy sentiment remains.
The Kiwi centre completely bought into the Connacht vision sold to him by Pat Lam. At least two clubs were interested in prising Aki away from Connacht before he signed his contract extension but he opted to remain in Ireland.
Just over a month later and one of the pillars of Connacht Rugby announced he would be leaving for Bristol next season. Lam turned down one lucrative offer until Bristol came back with an even bigger one. Lam still believes in Connacht but he took his family's future into consideration and handed in his notice.
Aki has every right to be pissed off but tweeting out such sentiments minutes before the news was made official did not look good. The province were said to be unhappy with his actions.
Brian O'Driscoll was close to leaving Leinster in 2005 before a chat with new coach convinced him to stick around for a season. He did just that, and seven more thereafter, and helped the province to three league titles, three Heineken Cup victories and a Challenge Cup.
The BT Sport rugby pundit believes Aki needs to park his disappointment and do what he signed on to do with the province, even after Lam departs. He tells SportsJOE:
"If a manager gets sacked, it doesn't mean that you immediately give up your contract too because he's worked well for you. Every coach and individual player is their own person.
"Maybe Bundee Aki did sign on the basis that Pat would stick around but Bristol came in with a phenomenal offer and he has decided to move on.
"Maybe Bundee Aki is put out by it but he is contracted to Connacht, he is still a Connacht player and whoever Connacht bring in as a new coach, he has to partner up well with him and try and continue to drive Connacht forward."
Should Aki get his head down and continue to deliver for Connacht, he will certainly be a live contender for a spot in the Ireland midfield when he becomes eligible in October 2017. O'Driscoll has no truck with the Aucklander lining out for Ireland but does feel World Rugby should look into changing its current rules. He says:
"Bundee has done a three-year residency in Ireland and he will be available, like everyone else.
"I don't, personally, agree with the three-year rule. I think it is too short and I think five years should be the minimum. We have enough home-grown talent to survive at international level, even though I believe the IRFU are one of the unions trying to hang onto the rule."
O'Driscoll was back in the BT studio to give his take on Connacht's 32-17 loss to Wasps, on Sunday, and feels this weekend's return could 'absolutely be a role reversal'.
"I certainly don't think they deserved to concede that bonus point try," he says.
"Certain aspects of their game were very good. They just lack a little in terms of aggressive defence and they were caught out by a good team that have players firing... It could be a very different proposition at The Sportsground."
Tune in for round 4 of the European Rugby Champions Cup with Leicester v Munster, Saturday December 17 at 15:15, followed by Leinster v Northampton Saints at 19:45 and Sale v Saracens on Sunday, December 18 at 17:30, exclusively live on BT Sport 2.