Wednesday 17 July 2019

Former Ulster scrum-half Ruan Pienaar set for return to Ravenhill with Cheetahs deal on the cards

A tearful Ruan Pienaar alongside former Ulster captain Johann Muller after his farewell competitive appearance for Ulster at Kingspan Stadium. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
A tearful Ruan Pienaar alongside former Ulster captain Johann Muller after his farewell competitive appearance for Ulster at Kingspan Stadium. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Former Ulster scrum-half Ruan Pienaar is in line for an emotional return to Ravenhill next season as he is set to join the Cheetahs.

The legendary Springbok scrum-half is understood to have signed a two-year deal, after he ended his time with Montpellier at the end of last season following the tragic death of his sister in a car crash back home.

Pienaar, who won 88 caps for South Africa, spent seven years in Belfast and was a crowd favourite with the Ulster faithful, before he was controversially pushed towards the exit door as the IRFU looked to promote younger Irish scrum-halves.

The 35-year old attended Grey College in Bloemfontein, where the Cheetahs are based, while his father Gysie Pienaar also represented the region.

Pienaar will add plenty of experience to a Cheetahs side who struggled in last season's PRO14 as they won just eight of their 21 games.

Ulster have always left the door open for a potential return to Belfast for Pienaar in a coaching capacity, but for now at least, it seems as though personal reasons mean that he will stay closer to home for at least the next two years.

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