Piutau blocked from Blues in 2016
Cape Town - All Black utility back Charles Piutau has been
blocked from playing Super Rugby for the Blues next season due to his overseas
commitment later in the year.
Piutau, 23, shocked the All Blacks earlier this year when he
signed a two-year deal with Irish club Ulster. That contract doesn't start
until July, 2016, and the player was keen to play half a season of Super Rugby for
However, the NZRU opted not to allow this as they believe it
would stand in the way of players who harbour hopes of representing the All
The All Blacks only pick players who ply their trade in New
NZRU Executive Officer Steve Tew told the All Blacks.com
website: "We have a long-standing policy relating to New Zealand eligible
players wanting to sign short-term contracts for the length of the Super Rugby
"That player must have played five or more Super Rugby
seasons before this can be considered.
"We obviously treat each case on its merits. However,
in terms of Piutau, his case doesn't meet our criteria.
"He's played fewer than five Super Rugby seasons, and
was not available for the full 2016 season. He's also departing New Zealand for
Tew added that allowing Piutau to play would have sent the
wrong message about the level of commitment required of players to participate
in New Zealand's competitions. They also didn't want to create a precedent that
they wouldn't want to live with.
Piutau has represented the All Blacks in 14 Tests since
making his debut in 2013.