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17th Mar 2024

ITV cameras catch wonderful Bundee Aki gesture after Ireland victory

Patrick McCarry

Bundee Aki

The man is an inspiration to so many.

As Thin Lizzy’s classic ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ rang out across Aviva Stadium, there was a clip of Bundee Aki mock-fighting with Scotland winger Duhan van der Merwe.

The pair were teammates on the British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa, in 2021, and had a couple of competitive run-ins during Saturday’s Six Nations clash. At full-time, though, Aki sought out van der Merwe for some friendly joshing and a few kind words.

Aki then lined up for the hand-shakes, with more Scottish players and his Ireland teammates. The best moment of all arrived when he crossed paths with his captain, Peter O’Mahony (from 0:16 below).

O’Mahony raised and pumped a fist in triumph before Aki engulfed him in a hug. The pair have been playing together since 2017 and have enjoyed plenty of jousts when back in Munster red and Connacht green. There was another lovely vignette, amid the celebrations, as Aki gave a young Ireland fan a gift to treasure.

Bundee Aki makes day for young Ireland fan

The Ireland players took off on a lap of honour after a trophy lift that Peter O’Mahony insisted Tadhg Furlong join him for.

As the players made their way back around to the West Stand, completing their lap, O’Mahony, Finlay Bealham and Andrew Porter broke away to pose for some pictures with a young Irish fan in a wheelchair.

Not far from that, Bundee Aki spotted an exuberant young supporter and told his family to let the lad jump the first barrier. The young pup did not need a second invitation and Aki strode over to lift him over the advertising hoardings.

Aki bent to remove his boots and gift them to the lad before lifting him back over the boards. His day and night was made. Who was the fan? Only Richie Best, son of former Ireland captain Rory Best.

Bundee Aki

Since arriving into the Ireland team in November 2017, Bundee Aki has played 56 Tests and been on the winning side on 45 occasions. He has scored 16 Test tries in green and has won Six Nations titles in 2018, 2023 and 2024, which included two Grand Slams.

He is well placed to be confirmed Six Nations Player of the Championship after four excellent outings for Ireland, on their way to back-to-back titles.


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