There’s every sign Ireland talisman Bundee Aki is finding his best form ahead of the 2019 Guinness Six Nations.
Aki, who started all five of his country’s games in their charge to 2018 Grand Slam glory, was on typically tenacious form in Connacht’s 21-12 inter-pro victory over Ulster on Friday night.
The 28-year-old scored the Galway side’s second try of the evening, a characteristically powerful run that saw him gain 15 metres and use his power to barrel over.
Aki came out on top in a midfield dual with Ulster’s Will Addison, who made a mightily impressive bow in green during the autumn Test series.
With some doubts lingering over the fitness of Robbie Henshaw, Aki’s ball-carrying ability will continue to be vital for Joe Schmidt’s side.
Aki, a try-scorer in wins over Italy and Wales in the 2018 edition of Rugby’s Greatest Championship, recently eschewed his honeymoon to help Connacht’s cause in the Guinness PRO14.
The centre will hope to cap a perfect year by lifting the Guinness Six Nations trophy in March – his side open their campaign against England in Dublin on February 2.