Monday 18 December 2017

Springbok Pienaar lands to boost Ulster

Ruan Pienaar. Photo: Getty Images
Ruan Pienaar. Photo: Getty Images

Hugh Farrelly

SPRINGBOK star Ruan Pienaar touched down in Belfast yesterday to begin a new chapter of his career with Ulster and will be in Ravenhill tomorrow night to watch the Magners League clash with Edinburgh.

Pienaar will be assessed by Ulster's medical staff over the next few days as he continues to recover from the shoulder injury which ruled him out of contention of the latter stages of South Africa's Tri Nations campaign.

Fellow Springbok and former Natal Sharks team-mate Johann Muller welcomed Pienaar to Belfast when he arrived at lunchtime yesterday and Ulster now have four South African internationals in their ranks (Pienaar, Muller, Pedrie Wannenburg and BJ Botha) as they seek to build on a strong start to the season, which has brought back-to-back victories over the Ospreys and Aironi. They face Edinburgh at Murrayfield next time out.

Meanwhile, Connacht coach Eric Elwood has had some much-needed good news on the injury front ahead of tomorrow's clash in Glasgow with the return of Andrew Browne to his squad. Both sides won their opening home fixtures, with Glasgow beating Leinster and Connacht downing the Dragons before losing on the road last weekend.

The Warriors will welcome back Scotland flanker John Barclay after injury and Elwood is expecting a gruelling encounter.

"They have a good set of forwards and they compete very heavily at the breakdown," said Elwood. "They are very committed. We won't get anything easy. We will be looking forward to a 'roll your sleeves up' type of affair."

Irish Independent

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