Piutau eager to play for a Pacific Islanders team

Bristol Bears fullback, Charles Piutau believes dual-qualified players should be allowed to play for less well-resourced unions in future.

The 29-year-old full-back also loves the idea of resurrecting the Pacific touring team concept, which flickered briefly between 2004 and 2008 only to disappear prematurely.

“You’re talking about the best of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga, that would be some entertaining rugby. I’m sure everyone of Pacific Island heritage would love to be involved with a tour like that.”

Piutau, a member of the Pacific Rugby Players Welfare board, would certainly be among them.

“For sure. I’d be proud to represent the Pacific Islands. I know I probably won’t be the only one. There are a lot of Pacific Island guys out there.”

He recently told The Guardian, “I think there should be more leeway for guys who are no longer playing for Tier One nations to help out their heritage nations.

“You want to have competitive and entertaining rugby and I think you’ll get that.”

Piutau represented New Zealand 17 times before moving to the UK to continue playing rugby.

His parents emigrated from Tonga to Auckland, New Zealand, which means he can represent Tonga. His brother, Siale Piutau, captained Tonga’s Ikale Tahi team at the 2019 Rugby World Cup and retired from international rugby afterwards.

Charles was not able to play for Tonga in the 2019 Rugby World Cup as he was required to qualify for Tonga through an Olympic Sevens tournament after standing down for three years. Unfortunately, no Olympic Sevens tournament was held prior to the World Cup in 2019.

Charles currently plays for the Bristol Bears in the UK along with his older brother Siale.

He played his first game a fortnight ago after taking four months off due to injury.