Former All Black Charles Piutau to become world rugby's highest-paid player
Former All Black Charles Piutau is set to become world rugby's highest-paid player.
The Telegraph reported that the wing would be paid $1.8 million per season from the 2018-19 season, when he moves from Irish club Ulster to England's Bristol on a two-year deal.
Dan Carter is currently paid around $1.9 million per season at French club Racing 92, but his contract expires at the end of the coming season.
Bristol are currently in the second-tier Championship, but could be back in the Premiership by the time Piutau arrives, if they win promotion during the 2017-18 season.
Piutau will join another former All Black Steven Luatua at the club. The Telegraph said Luatua was understood to be on a $1.2 million deal.
The move also means Piutau will link up with his brother, Siale, and former Blues coach Pat Lam.
Piutau signed with England's Wasps in 2015 ahead of the Rugby World Cup, then missed out on a place in the All Blacks squad for that tournament.
He was prevented from joining the Blues at the start of 2016, before he headed north, and moved to Ulster after one season in England.
The Telegraph said Piutau's deal with Bristol was "well beyond Ulster's financial means," with the club having to pay "above the odds," to secure his services in a fight with several leading French clubs.
Piutau told Bristol's website that being part of Lam's vision at the club was very appealing to him.
"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".