16 Nov 2018

Charles Piutau set to earn his record pay packet

8:21 am on 16 November 2018

The former All Black Charles Piutau says he is not worried about the pressure of being labelled as the England Premiership's highest-paid player, ahead of his debut in the competition.

Charles Piutau

Charles Piutau Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Having recovered from a shoulder injury, the 27-year-old is set to start Bristol's home game against Exeter this weekend.

After his switch from Ulster last season, Piutau is reportedly on almost one million pounds (1.9 million New Zealand dollars) per year.

"If I worry about any of these tags or pressure, I won't play to the best of my ability," he said.

"I enjoy this game and just want to go out and have fun. The rest will come if I have that mindset and that focus.

"I would love to do this forever but it's not the case, so the time I do have playing in this career, I really want to maximise that."

The New Zealand international made his Bears debut from the bench in in a Cup game earlier this month.

Speaking about the prospect of starting at Ashton Gate in the top flight, Piutau said "For myself, it's been a long time coming.

"I know a few fans as well have been waiting to see me out there. I'm excited. Hopefully come Sunday, I'll be able to run down that tunnel."

Piutau played four years for the Blues until 2015 when he moved to English club Wasps.

He made 17 appearances for the All Blacks between 2013 and 2015.