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Ulster's new £1m King Charles: I'm ready to rule at Kingspan

By Jonathan Bradley

Published 16/08/2016

Ulster £1million new boy Charles Piutau has said he wants to reward the team's fans for their patience with him by taking his side to the next level this season.

The All Black star, reputed to be on a £500,000 a year deal for the next two years, has waited well over a year to make his debut for the province after signing back in April 2015.

He is expected to pull on the jersey for the first time in Saturday's friendly against Exeter and the 24-year-old has already set his sights on the much bigger games ahead.

"There are always nerves and you always want to get that first game out of the way," he said in his first interview with the Belfast Telegraph.

"It has been a long time coming. Bryn Cunningham (Ulster's Operations Manager) gave me a run down of how good a place this was to be a part of. He wants to see this club move on to the next level and that caught my attention.

"We saw this club's potential and where it can go."

While he penned a lucrative deal to leave home in Auckland and travel to Belfast, Piutau made personal sacrifices to join his new team.

The move cost him a place in New Zealand's World Cup winning squad last year and a possible crack at taking on the Lions when they tour his homeland next summer.

Instead, he is now looking forward to spending the peak years of his career at Kingspan Stadium.

"It was one of the hardest things in my career," he admitted. "Looking on the positive side it really pushes me to get better and not get complacent. Hopefully I will play my best years here at this club."

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