Following the announcement yesterday that Super Rugby centre Bundee Aki has signed for Connacht on three year deal, Head Coach Pat Lam today reiterated that the Chiefs’ back is a direct replacement for the outgoing Eoin Griffin (London Irish) and Kyle Tonetti (retired).

“Obviously we had to look at signing a midfielder when we knew we’d be without Griffin and Tonetti next year. We also anticipate that Robbie (Henshaw) will be away in camp during the international windows and we have to make sure we are covered in that area.

“There has been a lot of talk in the last week about the possibility of Robbie leaving Connacht for another Irish province. Robbie signed a new deal this season that says he will be playing at the Sportsground until 2016 at least. He showed that he is happy here playing with his home province. There are no plans for him to move before then.

“The IRFU have been very supportive of Connacht and what we are trying to achieve here. I have a very good relationship with Joe (Schmidt) and there are good lines of communication between us. We talk regularly on games and players and he is especially supportive of the Connacht rugby programme going forward.

“We look forward to confirming some more player signings in the coming weeks for the 2014/15 season.”

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