Piutau to join All Blacks exodus

Utility back Charles Piutau has signed a two-year deal to join Irish club Ulster, according to reports.

The deal, said to be worth close to NZ$1-million (R9-million) per season, will see the 23-year-old move north following the World Cup in England.

Pituau made his debut for the All Blacks in 2013, and has gone on to play 13 Tests, including three starts during their 2014 end-of-year tour.

However, he is the latest of a younger generation of Kiwi players to head to Europe in a bid to maximise his earning potential, following the likes of Rene Ranger, Frank Halai and Bundee Aki.

The move will likely rule Piutau out of next year's Olympic Games, and the prestigious British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand in 2017.

However, there was good news for the NZRU, as Pitua's Blues teammate, Jerome Kaino, has re-signed for the next three years.

Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP Photo