Pienaar eager to nail down contract extension with Ulster
Ruan Pienaar has given Ulster rugby fans a massive shot in the arm by revealing that he would like to sign a contract extension.
With Mark Anscombe's side flying out this morning to the south of France, where they must beat Castres Olympique tomorrow in the hope of securing a home quarter-final in the Heineken Cup, the mercurial half-back spoke of his love affair with Ulster.
"I have never looked back since coming here, though I'm not saying there aren't days when I do miss all the family back home and playing for the Sharks in Durban," said the Springboks star – a player much coveted by Ulster's rivals.
"But since coming here, I think I have grown as a player and as a person and, ultimately, that is what you want. I've really had a fantastic time so far. Obviously, before coming here, you don't know what to expect.
"As a player, you just want to play well and make a difference to the team. Your hope is that when you leave, it will be with good memories.
"The people here have been fantastic in accepting us and supporting us. From that point of view, I couldn't have asked for anything more."
His goal now is to give them something to cheer.
"Before I leave, I would like to have a trophy in the cabinet and a winner's medal," he said.
But then he added the words which will delight the people he aims to please.
"I've still got another season after this and, under the new rules, I don't know if I'll be allowed to stay any longer," he admitted. "But both me and my wife are enjoying it, so if David Humphreys gives it a heads-up and says they'll keep me a bit longer, then why not?
"We'll see when it comes to that stage next year."