31/08/2016

Ruan Pienaar To Leave Ulster Rugby

Ruan Pienaar is to leave Ulster Rugby at the end of the season.

The club and Pienaar were very keen for him to extend his stay in Belfast, with Operations Director Bryn Cunningham and Director of Rugby Les Kiss working with the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) over the past six months to reach a desirable outcome. Unfortunately, a contract extension was not possible due to the IRFU's succession policy.

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, and I would like to thank my wife, Monique, for coming here to support me and for helping to make it home for us.
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"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.

Shane Logan, Ulster Rugby's Chief Executive, said: "Ruan's exploits on the pitch are well-documented, but perhaps his biggest contribution since his arrival in Ulster has been his work with the local community. He has been freely giving of so much of his time and he has helped to inspire young people across the Province, not only in rugby, but in their everyday lives. That impact is something that cannot be easily measured.

"We have continued to show that we have the resources, and more importantly, a positive environment and ethos, that makes us an attractive proposition for prospective players. This culture was one of the main reasons why Ruan, among others, was attracted to the club in the first place and why he was so keen to stay."

(CD)

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