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Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

16.46 10 Jul 2019


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Ruan Pienaar will be back at Kingspan Stadium next season, as he's signed for Pro 14 side, Cheetahs. 

The former Springbok scrum-half has signed a 2-year contract with the Bloemfontein outfit after spending the last two seasons playing Top 14 rugby with Montpellier.

Pienaar left Ulster in 2017 having made 141-appearances for the province. With the IRFU's succession policy which looks to build depth of Irish players in every position, Pienaar was not offered a contract renewal at the time, despite scoring nearly 900 points.

Speaking of his departure from Ulster at the time, Pienaar said, "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..... 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."

After nine years away, the 35 year old has returned home. Pienaar played in 32 Currie Cup games for the Sharks between 2004 and 2010. He also played 67 Super Rugby matches.

Pienaar's first season with Montpellier was an unqualified success, scoring 193 points and helping them to the Top 14 final where they were beaten by Castres.

He joins a Cheetahs side who badly need to improve on a disappointing 2018-19 season when they won just 8 of their 21 Conference A games. Pienaar's former side Ulster are in the same Conference for the 2019-20 season.


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Bloemontein Cheetahs Montpellier Pro 14 Ruan Pienaar South Africa Springboks Ulster

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