Ulster face struggle to keep Pienaar as Toulon chase replacement for Wilkinson
RUAN PIENAAR could be on his way to France after it was reported in French media that Toulon have offered the 29-year-old terms.
Pienaar is currently on international duty with South Africa and is in the final year of his contract with Ulster. The French sports daily, L'Equipe, have claimed Toulon, in fact, already made him an offer.
The French club are well serviced at scrum-half with Frederic Michalak, Sebastien Tillous-Borde and Michael Claassens competing for the No 9 shirt, but it has been reported Pienaar is being viewed as a possible replacement for out-half Jonny Wilkinson.
Wilkinson, the current first choice, is due to retire at the end of this season, although he hasn't definitely ruled out playing on.
Toulon already have a sizeable South African contingent with Bakkies Botha, Bryan Habana and Danie Rossouw on their playing roster. They have the financial backing to better any offer Ulster might make to keep the Springbok in Belfast.
Pienaar has been Ulster's stand-out performer since he arrived in 2010. He has been the on-field leader of the side and was crucial to guiding them to the Heineken Cup final in 2012 and the Celtic League final last season.