Details have emerged regarding the salary that Charles Piutau will earn at Bristol in the 2018/19 season.
It was confirmed on Thursday that the former All Black would be heading to the Championship next year, leaving Ulster after two seasons to join up with former Connacht coach Pat Lam. According to the Telegraph, meanwhile, Piutau will be paid £1m per season for his services in a two-year deal.
Ir will take over from another former All Black in the form of Dan Carter, whose €1.2m deal at Racing 92 will expire at the end of the coming season.
The reason for paying the versatile back so much is down to the fact that Bristol are not currently in the Premiership – though they could well have already been promoted by the time the 25-year-old actually arrives at Ashton Gate. In any event, they saw off competition from clubs in France’s Top 14 (and surpassed what Ulster could offer him to stay) in what Lam has described as “one of the biggest coups in the club’s history.”
It’s the greatest statement of intent yet from a club determined to move to the forefront of English rugby. Despite their relegation to the Championship at the end of last season, they have still been able to bring in some stellar additions – including Piutau’s former All-Blacks teammate Steven Luatua (whose Premiership salary record will be broken by Piutau assuming they go back up) and Irish international fly-half Ian Madigan (and, indeed, Lam himself).
As “designated players,” Luatua and Piutau are exempt from the normal Premiership wage structure and are thus able to be paid whatever Bristol choose to reward them with.