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Ruan Pienaar To Leave Ulster Due To IRFU Rules

Ruan Pienaar To Leave Ulster Due To IRFU Rules
By PJ Browne
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Ruan Pienaar will leave Ulster at the end of this season.

The South African scrum-half spent his peak years with Ulster after joining them in 2010 aged 26.

In a statement released by Ulster Rugby today, they say that Pienaar's departure is due to a contract extension not being a possibility because of the IRFU's succession policy.


Ulster wanted Pienaar to stay. The 32-year-old also wanted remain in Belfast.

IRFU rules which state Ulster, Leinster and Munster can only have one non-Irish qualified player per position between the three of them mean a new deal was not offered to Pienaar.

This is what Pienaar had to say about his departure:

I am not moving on for a new adventure or for financial reasons - I wanted to stay and I know that Ulster Rugby did everything it could to keep me in Belfast. Ulster is special to me and my family now, and I would like to thank my wife, Monique, for coming here to support me and for helping to make it home for us.

I would also like to thank all of the players and staff at Ulster Rugby, the supporters and the general public, for their support and encouragement since our arrival. It has been brilliant to see the progress that the organisation has made in recent years, particularly with the new facilities here at Kingspan Stadium. The club has given me a lot and I'd like to be in a position to give something back in the future if possible.

I have many great memories of my time here and I have made some brilliant friends within rugby and outside of it. It is sad that this will be my last season as an Ulster player but I will be doing everything to ensure that we make it a successful campaign.

Both Ulster Director of Rugby Les Kiss and CEO Shane Logan said the 'door is open' for Pienaar to return to Ravenhill at some point in the future.


See Also: The Irish Rugby Early Retirement XV

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