Bundee Aki is primed for a return to form with Ireland this week after getting a solid 80 minutes under his belt with Connacht at the weekend, according to his provincial defence coach Pete Wilkins.

Aki only played 30 minutes in the two months prior to Saturday’s bonus-point win over Cardiff Blues due to a knee injury, but Wilkins thinks he will be part of Andy Farrell’s plans for their trip to Rome.

Connacht remain in with a chance of reaching their second PRO14 final ahead of Friday’s clash with Benetton in Italy, but they trail Munster by nine points and need their neighbours to slip up.

Aki, Ultan Dillane and Ballina’s Dave Heffernan have rejoined the Ireland squad and are not available for Connacht this week, but Wilkins told the Irish Independent he thinks Aki will be ready if called upon in Rome, saying there was a control about the way he played.

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