Former All Black and current Ulster player Charles Piutau will leave the club at the end of the upcoming season.
Piutau, who covers full back, wing or centre, was named the PRO12 Players’ Player of the Year last season and it has just been announced that he join Pat Lam’s Bristol for the beginning of the 2018/2019 season.
The New Zealander has 16 caps to his name and will link up with his brother Siale, already at the club.
In an interview with the club’s website, Head Coach Pat Lam said (via Bristol Rugby):
“One of our key focuses is about the journey that Bristol Rugby are on – Charles’ signing for the 2018/19 season demonstrates that we have a long-term plan and structure in place,”
“We’re thrilled to have an individual of his immense quality and experience to add to our ranks. As somebody who has worked with Charles previously, I know what an influential player he is on and off the field.
“It’s not just his ability to play fullback, wing and centre, all at international standard, but it’s also his willingness to help and mentor others which will be a big boost for our young English players coming through.
“Charles is excited by our vision of ‘inspiring our community through rugby success.’ His determination and attitude to improve as a player and person are exactly the sort of world class characteristics we want in every player who pulls on the Bristol jersey.”
— Bristol Rugby (@Bristol_RFC) August 10, 2017
During his time with Wasps for one season in 2016, Piutau was nominated for the Aviva Premiership Player of the Season and was named in the Premiership Team of the Season.
“To join Bristol Rugby and be part of the vision that Pat Lam and his coaching team has is very appealing to me. I understand the challenges that lie ahead for the club but firmly believe Bristol can once again become a major force in English and European rugby.
“I’m looking forward to playing alongside my brother Siale and being part of a club that can inspire the community and receives massive backing from the city’s supporters.
“By sorting my playing future early, I can focus entirely on Ulster this season and what the team can achieve in the Pro14 and Europe.”
Paul Wassell, Pundit Arena