Charles Piutau has insisted it was an “easy decision” to put supporting his family before a chance to chase further All Blacks honours.
Ulster star Piutau will become one of the world’s highest earners when he joins Bristol next summer, and admitted holding talks with the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZR) before settling on his move to England.
All Blacks selectors closed the door on Piutatu ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup after he agreed to join Ulster in 2016, which came after a short stint at Wasps.
The 25-year-old met with NZR bosses over a possible move back to Super Rugby in 2017, but is now looking forward instead to linking back up with his former Auckland Blues coach Pat Lam at ambitious Bristol next term.
“First maybe there was an option to go back to New Zealand,” Piutau said.
“After catching up with people in the union it became clear that I didn’t want to go back.
“So after that it was an easy option for me, to stay in the north.
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“Then I started talking to a few clubs, and I found Bristol was a perfect fit for me.
“I was born and brought up in New Zealand, I love the All Blacks jersey and I love what it stands for.
“But when it comes to a place when you can provide for your family and there’s a better opportunity, to me it was an easy decision. I’ll always choose my family over anything else.
“I’m so thankful for everything that happened in New Zealand, but as well as wanting to provide for my family, I also wanted to experience this side of the world.
“Ulster have been amazing with me, and I’ve really enjoyed my time here playing for the club and in the city of Belfast.
“So I want to make the most of everything in my final year here.”
Piutau won 17 All Blacks caps before the switch to the northern hemisphere.
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