Siale Piutau to leave Bristol Bears at end of season

Siale Piutau has made 66 appearances for Bristol since joining in 2017
Siale Piutau has made 66 appearances for Bristol since joining in 2017
©Steve Haag

Tonga international Siale Piutau will be parting ways with Gallagher Premiership club Bristol Bears at the end of the ongoing 2020/21 season.

The 35-year-old joined Bristol in 2017 and has gone on to make 66 appearances for the club including 43 in the Premiership competition. He also went on to captain the Bears in 25 games and led them to a European Challenge Cup triumph last season.

“Representing the Bears and playing alongside my brother and a fantastic group of players has been a real privilege," he told the club's official website.

"I have been blessed to see the club flourish from when I joined at a very challenging time, to now under Pat’s leadership. I’m also grateful to the fans and the city of Bristol, who have made me and my family feel so welcome.

“The vision and culture at the Bears is second to none, one of the best environments I have been a part of anywhere in the world.

"There is alignment across the club and a genuine belief in what we can achieve. It would be an incredible feeling to end this season with silverware after five great years here.”

Having started his career with provincial side Counties Manukau in 2006, he also played Super Rugby for Chiefs and Highlanders. Piutau also had stints with Japanese side Yamaha Júbilo and Wasps before heading to Ashton Gate.

Piutau made his international debut for Tonga in 2011 and has gone on to play 43 Tests. He also captained them in the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

Bristol director of rugby Pat Lam lavished praise on Piutau and his contributions to the club.

"Siale's impact on the club and our growth has been immeasurable," said Lam.

"He has been on a journey with Bristol and departs with the club in a better place and with the foundations for sustainable success.

"It's a mark of his character as a person and a leader that he has had a positive influence on everybody across the club - players and staff."

Bristol currently hold the top place in the Gallagher Premiership table and have already secured a home play-off berth following their victory over Leicester Tigers last weekend.

Premiership Rugby - Points Table