Cape Town - Former All Black utility back Charles Piutau is reportedly set to become the world’s highest paid player when he joins English club Bristol next year.
According to The Telegraph, Piutau will earn £1 million (about R17m) per season, with the English publication saying this will make him the game’s greatest earner.
Piutau played 16 Tests for the All Blacks between 2013 and 2015, but gave up the right to be picked for his country when he signed an overseas deal.
He joined Irish side Ulster in 2015, but they weren’t able to include him in their squad last season as their foreign allocation was full.
The burly back then signed a one-season contract with English Premiership club Wasps, but will move back to Ulster for the upcoming 2017/18 season.
He is then expected to join Bristol ahead of the 2018/19 season on a two-year deal.
Bristol were relegated from the English Premiership last season but have ambitions - bankrolled by billionaire owner Stephen Lansdown - to become one of the top clubs in Europe.
Former Blues coach Pat Lam is Bristol's new director of rugby.