Springbok coach Peter de Villiers has given the clearest indication yet that Sharks utility player Ruan Pienaar will wear the Bok No 10 jersey against the British and Irish Lions this year.
Jacques van der Westhuyzen reports on IOL that Springbok coach Peter de Villiers has given the clearest indication yet that Sharks utility player Ruan Pienaar will wear the Bok No 10 jersey against the British and Irish Lions this year.
It would appear that the three performances at flyhalf by Pienaar on last year’s November tour to the UK were good enough to convince De Villiers that the Sharks man is the player to succeed Butch James.
This follows the announcement at the weekend of 19 players who have been given national contracts by SA Rugby. Pienaar is the only player in the group who has started at flyhalf for the Boks.
Pienaar reluctantly accepted the invitation to play at No 10 on last year’s end of season tour, but shone in the position against Wales, Scotland and England.
It is understood that he will be used in the role for the Sharks during this season’s Super 14 competition.
De Villiers was full of praise for Pienaar last season and indicated he would like to see the Sharks man continue in the position in future.
The only other player among the contracted group who can play at No 10 is Frans Steyn, but the World Cup winning inside centre has been tried in the position before with little success.
He is more likely to feature as an impact player and possibly as a centre, wing or fullback. The 19 contracted players are also a clear indication of who De Villiers will put his faith in against the touring Lions in June.
Sharks: JP Pietersen, Adrian Jacobs, Ruan Pienaar, John Smit, Bismarck du Plessis, Frans Steyn, Tendai Mtawarira
Golden Lions: Jaque Fourie
Cheetahs: Juan Smith
Bulls: Fourie du Preez, Victor Matfield, Pierre Spies, Bryan Habana, Danie Rossouw, Bakkies Botha
Stormers: Conrad Jantjes, Ricky Januarie, Jean de Villiers, Schalk Burger.Tweet