Ruan Pienaar has confirmed that his international career is over.
The Ulster scrum half represented South Africa 88 times and was a member of the Springboks’ 2007 World Cup winning squad. He also won the 2009 Tri-Nations with his country and helped them to a thrilling 2-1 win over the British and Irish Lions in the same year.
Pienaar made his international debut against the All Blacks in 2006 and made his final appearance in the green and gold in South Africa’s third place play-off win over Argentina at last year’s World Cup.
He asked not be considered for the summer series against Ireland, was not selected for the current Rugby Championship, and confirmed that his career with the ‘Bokke’ is over.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, he said,
”I think that’s probably it. I’m happy with my decision and I’ll put my energy into Ulster now and whatever is waiting in the next year or two.
“I’m still supporting the guys but that’s probably the end.”
During his ten-year international career, the versatile 32-year-old played at full back, outside half and scrum half, racking up a 135 points, including eight tries, twenty two conversions and seventeen penalties.
The Bloemfontein-born star’s 88 caps make him the seventh most capped Springbok.
After spending a memorable six years with Ulster, the amiable Pienaar will move on from the Kingspan stadium at the end of the season due to the IRFU’s controversial ”succession policy”.
The policy only allows non-Irish qualified players to one per field position within the Provinces (with the exception of Connacht). The aim being to have two Irish-qualified players per position representing Ulster, Leinster and Munster.
Pienaar revealed that his next club is still unknown at this stage, adding: “We have a couple of months to sort it out and hopefully we’ll make a good decision. It’s all about the family and what they’re comfortable with.”
Hefin Jones, Pundit Arena
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