Pienaar stays in Ireland

Ruan Pienaar has signed a new two-year contract with Ulster that will keep him at the club until June 2014.

The Bok scrumhalf joined Ulster on a two-year deal at the beginning of the 2010-11 season from the Sharks. At the end of that season he won Ulster’s Player of the Year award and the Celtic League Player of the Year award, voted for by his peers. He was also named in the Celtic League Team of the Year. He has played a total of 29 matches for the club, scoring 166 points (including six tries).

‘I’ve really enjoyed my first two seasons here and when the opportunity came to extend the deal I was very excited,’ said Pienaar. ‘I’ve made some good friends here and I’ve really enjoyed the rugby side. The people of Belfast have welcomed myself and my family with open arms and so it was an easy decision in the end.’

‘We have been negotiating to retain Ruan since the summer and are delighted that he has chosen to extend his contract with us,’ said Ulster director of rugby David Humphreys. ‘He has been instrumental in the team’s success since joining us in 2010. He’s a true match winner and a total professional from his attitude in the gym, through the mentoring role he plays with younger players to the quality of performance he delivers consistently each week.’