Charles Piutau in action with the New Zealand Sevens team. Kin Cheung/AP/Press Association Images
Marquee signing

All Black Charles Piutau to join Ulster next year - Reports

The versatile back is set to sign for the Northern province.

Updated 11am

REPORTS IN NEW Zealand this morning indicate that Ulster are about to add All Black utility back Charles Piutau to their squad after the Auckland Blue takes part in this autumn’s World Cup.

The versatile back had been widely expected to re-sign with the Blues and the NZRU over the coming weeks but it is understood that he will join Ireland’s northern province in July 2016, after next year’s Super Rugby season.

The 23-year old joins the likes of Rene Ranger, Bundee Aki and Luke Braid in leaving Super Rugby at a much younger age than team-mates like Dan Carter and other have previously.

If the move — believed to involve a €1.39 million two year deal – is confirmed, it means Piutau is also giving up the opportunity to compete for New Zealand’s Sevens at next year’s Rio Olympic Games and lining out for the All Blacks when they host the British and Irish Lions in 2017.

Piutau’s ability to slot in a centre, wing or fullback is a bonus for most sides, and after making his first six appearances for the All Blacks from the bench, he has started seven of the last eight games for New Zealand.

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‘We can prevent the death of Gaelic Football but it won’t be easy’ – Jarlath Burns

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