Former Ulster Scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar Quits Montpellier
Former Ulster scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar has quit Montpellier with a year still to run on his contract with the French side.
The 35-year-old moved to France back in 2017 after being forced to uproot his family and leave Ulster due to Ireland’s succession policy, with Johny Cooney moving from Connacht to replace him.
Pienaar’s sister tragically died back in February and the South African hasn’t trained since then.
“After being affected by a family drama during the season, Ruan Pienaar announced his decision to end his contract at the end of the 2018/2019 season. A decision understood and accepted by Montpellier Hérault Rugby, which releases the player one year before the end of his contract.” a Montpellier statement read
Pienaar meanwhile thanked the fans and his teammates for the past two season and wished Montpellier all the best in the years to come.
“I want to thank my teammates with whom I have played for the past two seasons and all the fans. I wish the club every success for years to come.” Pienaar said
It’s unknown whether or not Pienaar will continue playing professional rugby, but we do know his wife and children moved back to Belfast at the end of last season, after struggling to adapt to life in France.
A move back to Ulster in a coaching role had previously been mooted, and with John Cooney set to be away for the World Cup – a short-term playing deal with his former club could also be an option.