Piutau returns to the Premiership

Date published: December 12 2016

Bristol have signed Tongan centre Siale Piutau until the end of the 2016/17 season.

Piutau, who captains Tonga, has represented his country 24 times and will make the switch from Yamaha Jubilo in January. This will not be his first taste of English rugby as Piutau previously played for Wasps with his younger brother Charles.

"I know Siale from his time at Wasps and he’s a big presence in the midfield who carries hard and is a reliable defender," Bristol head coach Mark Tainton told bristolrugby.co.uk.

"He comes into the environment in the new year and it will give the squad a boost in a crucial period of the campaign. Siale brings the necessary intensity and physicality required to make an impact in the top flight and that abrasive style will benefit our style of play."

Piutau represented Tonga at the 2011 Rugby World Cup, playing all four group games against Georgia, Namibia, Argentina and New Zealand.

Commenting on the move, Piutau said: "I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Premiership with Wasps, so I’m relishing the chance to play in the competition again.

"It’s a hugely challenging league, so I’m arriving with a focus of performing well and helping Bristol on the field. It’s a club with a strong reputation and I’m exciting to get started."