Cape Town - Superstar full back Charles Piutau
is to link up with the Barbarians
for their Quilter Cup clash against England
on May 27.
Piutau is one hottest attacking properties in the game and will make a high-profile move from Ulster to Bristol this summer.
Since making his 17 appearances for New Zealand he has starred in a brief spell with Wasps and was the Pro12 Player of the Season in 2016-17.
He will be returning to Twickenham after two appearances there in 2013. The first saw England beaten 30-22 and the second was a try-scoring debut for the Barbarians as they beat Fiji 43-19.
“They were both wins and good experiences and the atmosphere was pretty cool,” said Piutau.
"Playing for the Baabaas was different and everyone had told me there is a special feel to it. Playing alongside people I’d played against, like Willie Le Roux, Jean De Villiers, Bismarck du Plessis was pretty good and one of the great things about rugby.”
He will also be reunited with Pat Lam, in charge of the Barbarians after taking Bristol back into the top-flight. Lam coached Pituau briefly in Auckland before his own move to Connacht in 2013.
"It’s been a challenging season, it’s gone by pretty quick and I really hope I can help the club finish on a high by qualifying for the European Champions Cup ,” said Piutau.
"I’ve enjoyed my time here but I’m very excited about the next challenge. Playing at Bristol with my brother Siale and friends like Steven Luatua is going to be pretty cool.
"Siale’s kept me in touch with their season and I’m looking forward to playing in the Premiership. I’ve already had a taste of it and it’s a tough competition. There are a lot of quality sides."
Piutau particularly enjoyed seeing archive pictures of Lam in his Barbarians playing days alongside Jonah Lomu and Joeli Vidiri.
All Blacks great Lomu was a predecessor of Piutau's in the Wesley College team in Pukekohe and starred on appearances with the Baa-baas, scoring four tries against Scotland in 2001.
“He was a big hero and the things he could do on the pitch were amazing,” said Piutau. “Coming from Tonga like Jonah and playing for the same school side was really special.”