Ulster to sign All Black Charles Piutau - one of the fastest men in New Zealand rugby
Ulster Rugby is set to score a sensational coup by signing an All Black, according to New Zealand media.
The club has reportedly agreed a £1 million two-year deal with Charles Piutau - a fleet-footed fullback and one of the fastest men in New Zealand rugby.
The 23-year-old has thrived in the (Auckland) Blues environment this year and has regularly troubled attacking sides with his robust defence and burned off defenders who try to stop him on attack.
It is understood Piutau's contract with Ulster will start in 2016, where he would be a marquee player - but it requires agreement from NZ Rugby, as he would not be available for All Blacks selection.
His sudden departure comes as a shock in New Zealand, where he was expected to re-sign within the next fortnight.
Piutau was part of the 2011 Junior World Championship-winning New Zealand Under 20 team - he was the team's top tryscorer - and he also starred for the All Blacks Sevens team that won the World Series in 2011/12.
His salary would top that of South African scrum-half Ruan Pienaar, who is believed to be the highest-paid foreign player on the island of Ireland with a £1.2m three-year contract.
Belfast Telegraph Digital