WASPS’ director of rugby Dai Young believes the arrival of All Blacks star Charles Piutau will help push the club up to the next level as they look to challenge both on home soil and in Europe.
The 23-year-old will join Wasps on a one-season-deal for the 2015/16 campaign from Auckland Blues having already signed for Ulster for the following season.
Piutau made his Test debut against France in New Plymouth on 22 June, 2013 and has gone on to win 17 caps for the All Blacks.
He has been in superb form for his country during the past couple of months and was unlucky to narrowly miss out on selection in their final 31-man Rugby World Cup squad.
“The opportunity arose for us to sign Charles and we jumped at the chance,” said Young.
“His addition will bolster the strong recruitment we’ve already made for the new season, complementing the talented squad we already have in place.
“If we want to be successful, we need to have strength in depth, particularly this season when you switch between Premiership and European games week after week.
“You are going to pick up bumps and bruises, so it’s really important to have players who can play in a couple of positions and strength in depth across the board.
“I believe Charles can add to that. If everyone is fit, it will provide real competition for selection and will give Wasps a real quality backline.”
Piutau said he is excited to sign for a club that he feels has recruited well over the past few seasons.
He added: “I know Alapati Leiua from NZ and am looking forward to playing with him, as well as continuing to play alongside Frank Halai who I have played a lot of rugby with.
“I have also heard great things about playing at the Ricoh Arena and the crowd support there and I look forward to making a contribution to what will hopefully be a very successful season.”