‘Leaving New Zealand not an easy decision’ – Piutau

Date published: August 16 2016

New signing Charles Piutau has admitted that joining the PRO12 outfit was one of the most difficult decisions of his career.

The 24-year-old utility back spent some time at Wasps on a one-season-deal for the 2015/16 season, having already signed for Ulster for the upcoming season and is set to make his debut for his new side in their pre-season friendly against Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park.

Piutau, who was unlucky to narrowly miss out on selection for the All Blacks' final 31-man Rugby World Cup squad, said leaving New Zealand to further his career at Ulster wasn't easy but he is keen to make an impact in his new surroundings.

“It was probably one of the hardest things of my career to date to do and I knew that it would effect my chances [of playing for the All Blacks],” he told The Irish Times.

“But there is the positive side to it and I really think it [coming to Ulster] will push me to get better and also play my best years here at this club.

“But I just want to get that first game out. I think it’s been a long time coming so it will be nice to finally just do it and be out there playing again,” he added at last night’s European shirt launch.

“There is always expectation and pressure,” he said of bringing the dazzling form he showed at Wasps to his new employers, “but I see that as a challenge and it I think it will help me perform and get better.

“I can only be myself and bring my skills-set and hopefully that will help the team.

“And the right ingredients are hopefully here to take the next step.”