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Watch: A Teary Eyed Ruan Pienaar Says Goodbye To His Beloved Ulster

Ulster finished off their disappointing season with a morale boosting 17-13 victory over southern rivals, Leinster, at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. 

The performance will give supporters some cause for optimism that they can turn things around next season, especially with Jono Gibbes coming on board, there is plenty to be excited about.

However, today was all about one man and that is Springbok and Ulster legend, Ruan Pienaar. Ulster will have to make do without him next season as the IRFU announced at the beginning of the season that they won’t allow Ulster to renew his contract.

The reason being that Ireland’s rugby governing body believe that it will negate the potential for Irish scrum-halves to develop at the province. Of course, this kind of announcement was always going to go down poorly up north and it’s not hard to see why.

Pienaar has been one of the, if not the best, overseas import into the club and his level of performances over the past seven seasons has been a testament to that.

Thankfully, he was able to help guide his side to victory in front of a packed crowd, in what was the perfect send off for the 33-year-old.

It was also Roger Wilson’s last game for Ulster, so there was no shortage of emotion swelling around the famous Belfast venue.

The standing ovations for both players as they departed the field tells you everything you need to know.

Pienaar’s post-match interview is quite difficult to watch but when asked whether he had a message to the supporters, he did his best to thank them for seven special years.

“Thank you for the last seven years….It’s sad to leave this place but we can leave it on a high.” 

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email [email protected] or on Twitter