Luatua keeps his options open

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    29 Dec 2017     Getty Images

Bristol, coached by former All Blacks, Samoa and Blues player Pat Lam, are now a second-tier club in England and he told BBC Radio Bristol that he would like to extend his two-year contract at the club.

"I am just seeing out these two years, see what happens with Bristol Rugby. If they will still have me then hopefully I can stick around for a bit longer.

"I will see how my family enjoy it as well because that is a massive part of it, but if that all goes well then hopefully I will be around a bit longer," he said.

"If not, hopefully the Blues will take me back."

Bristol lead the Championship being unbeaten in their 12 games with 59 points, eight points clear of Ealing. Richmond are in eighth place.

Luatua has quickly become a favourite in Bristol and has won several man of the match awards while also having stints as captain of the side.

He has been out of action for a month due to a rib injury suffered during a training session with neighbours Bath, an exercise the club carries out once a season to get fresh ideas and experiences.

However, he is expected to be back in action on Saturday against Richmond.

Talking about some of his toughest opponents, Luatua rated Springbok lock and captain Eben Etzebeth as the toughest on the international stage. England and British & Irish Lions lock Maro Itoje was also up there.

Luatua played against him when the Blues beat the Lions and he said Itoje was a beast.

But, domestically, it was Brodie Retallick, the All Blacks and Chiefs lock rated the best player in the world in 2014.

"Playing alongside him happy days, playing against him you know you are going to get a cheap shot," he said.

When asked the best players he had played with Luatua said all of the All Blacks.

"They are all pretty great," he said.