Piutau is rugby’s first million pound signing

Charles Piutau in action for Ulster
Charles Piutau in action for Ulster

Ulster utility back, Charles Piutau is believed to have become the first million pound signing in rugby after it was confirmed yesterday the New Zealander would join English Championship side Bristol.

Piutau was a marquee signing for Ulster when he joined them at the start of last season on a two-year deal.

It was always expected he would probably move on at the end of his two-year contract, but moving to Bristol, who are now coached by former Connacht boss, Pat Lamb, came as a surprise yesterday.

Bristol were relegated from the Aviva Premiership last year but with multi millionaire owner Steve Lansdown at the helm it is expected he will provide Lam with the funds to take the club straight back into the top flight.

Piutau will hook up with his brother Siale at Ashton Gate, the two were instrumental in leading Wasps to the Champions Cup semi final in 2016 before losing to eventual winners Saracens.

“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,” said Piutau.

“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.”