Charles Piutau proves yet again why the All Blacks were insane to ever drop him
Charles Piutau is good at rugby. Very good. And it seems like the only people on Earth who do not seem to know that are the All Blacks selectors since 2015.
The 17-cap All Black has been stunning crowds at Wasps, Ulster and Bristol Bears ever since he moved to the northern hemisphere in 2015 after being dropped by Steve Hansen and failing to make the All Blacks’ World Cup squad. Of course, the All Blacks won that tournament, but ever since that move fans have been scratching their heads asking why the All Blacks ever let him go.
He proved yet again on Friday night against Northampton Saints what an attacking threat he is with a man of the match performance in his side’s 62-8 win at Ashton Gate. His assist for Harry Randall in the first half was world class, in that very few people in the world could do what he did. Indeed, it is not a stretch to say no one else could have set up that try, in which he showed footwork, pace and some deft kicking.
Having switched to represent Tonga last year on the new eligibility ruling, the rugby world benefits the most as they will get to see the fullback in action at the World Cup later this year. But with every try he scores or sets up, it grows all the more bewildering how Steve Hansen and co did not think he was worthy of playing for the All Blacks anymore.
Yes, he was not facing a Test defence in Northampton, but he was facing Test players. The Wallabies’ Lukhan Salakaia-Loto was just one of the players he beat in Harry Randall’s try, who is having a stellar season himself.
Piutau is leading a Bristol resurgence this season as they are climbing up the Premiership table. They now sit in eighth place, but with the likes of Piutau and Semi Radradra in their back line, anything is possible.
Take a look at the try:
CHARLES PIUTATUUUUU 🤯
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) March 3, 2023