Few players have made such an immediate impact in European Rugby on their arrival from the Southern Hemisphere as Charles Piutau.
From humble beginnings, Charles, the youngest of ten siblings grew up in Auckland competing with his four older brothers, including Siale who currently represents Tonga. Charles’s undoubted talents began to be recognised whilst representing New Zealand at the Junior RWC 2011, as top try scorer in the tournament won by New Zealand.
In 2012, at just 21, his exploits with the Auckland Blues saw Charles promoted to the senior New Zealand squad making his debut the following year in 2013 against France, the start of an All Black career that realised sixteen caps before his decision to take his talents abroad.
Charles delivered on the expectation his arrival into Europe promised immediately at Wasps on route to Ulster. He began to lacerate opposition defences with a lethal arsenal of attacking weapons, a mesmerising side step of either foot, blistering acceleration, raw power in contact, and a bone shuddering hand off. This combination of skills allied to his intuitive running lines and general rugby awareness marked Charles out as the most complete attacking player in European rugby.
Charles’s contribution off the pitch is just as marked as his displays on the pitch, always smiling, he exhibits real leadership traits within the group and contributes to discussions throughout the club.
His family outlook and generous spirit contribute to the culture and team spirit within the team, the wider organisation and indeed the community he actively involves himself in. It is little surprise he is such a popular person and role model professional wherever he lives and plays his rugby.
Charles faith, vision and talent are a credit to his Tongan family upbringing.