Watch: Ruan Pienaar Reflects On Having To Leave Ulster & It’s Heartbreaking
Latest posts by Jason Hennessy (see all)
Springbok legend Ruan Pienaar is set to depart Ulster at the end of the season.
The scrumhalf joined the club six years ago and has become a fan favourite and reached legendary status at the northern province. The South African was hoping to finish out his career with Less Kiss’ men, but unfortunately that opportunity was taken away from him.
As a result of the IRFU’s succession policy he is being forced to leave the club that he now calls home at the end of the season. The basis behind the succession policy is that Ireland wants to put an emphasis on developing young Irish players and they believe that as long as Pienaar is with Ulster that won’t happen.
IRFU performance director, David Nucifora, stated at the time of the announcement that “an extension to Ruan’s contract would further prevent Irish-qualified Ulster players from maximising their development potential and becoming stars for both Ulster and Ireland.”
The decision has many people torn as Pienaar is happy with Ulster as are his family. He has spent six years at the club and is in the final stages of his career, yet is being forced out, with Ulster have no real immediate solution to his exit.
The argument can be made, as was with Jaco Taute with Munster, that having a player like Pienaar around, of such experience, will do nothing but benefit these up and coming Irish players. It’s a tough one, and a strange one, but as you can see from the video below- it’s a difficult one for the man himself.
— Rugby Tonight (@RugbyTonight) January 11, 2017