Richard Ferguson

Pienaar leaving the door open?

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Springboks on 3 Sep 2010 at 13:26
Tagged with : , ,

Ruan Pienaar left the Sharks this week, heading for Ireland where he has signed a two year contract with Ulster. He will join up with former teammates BJ Botha and Johann Muller.

In an interview with, Pienaar mentioned that he would love to come back one day and finish his career at the Sharks, much as Stefan Terblanche did after returning from playing for Welsh club Ospreys.

Pienaar stated that his main reason for leaving was that he wanted stability in a position, and looks set to hold down the number nine jersey at his new club, this after being shuffled across many backline positions for the Springboks.

You have to feel for the player who played 4 different positions in 43 tests for his country, of which only 18 were in his preferred position of scrumhalf. That’s less than 50%! He went on to play 12 tests at flyhalf, 10 at fullback and even managed 3 on the wing, this after starting his career and playing most of his provincial rugby at scrumhalf.

At scrumhalf is where he made his debut for the Sharks, and where he made his impact in the 2005 Super 12, where he had huge games against the Brumbies, who still had the legendary George Gregan at scrumhalf, and managed to land a match winning conversion from the sideline against the Crusaders. He had superstar written all over him.

He was quickly given his Springbok debut in the 2006 Tri Nations, where he played his first game against New Zealand in the scrumhalf position. But soon after, Eddie Jones labeled Pienaar as the next Stephen Larkham, the experimenting started. Sharks coaches were asked to play him at 10 so that he got game time and experience in the pivot position, and this is when the young man’s career started going backwards.

After seasons of shuffling and benching for the Springboks, and not being able to show his worth in the number 9 jersey, the player had enough and has decided to make a very difficult move to Ireland. One gets the feeling that he would much rather stay and play for the Black and White, but that options just does not seem viable for a player who would like to play scrumhalf, and only scrumhalf.

The first we think when a player moves to the U.K is that they are lining their pockets and making a quick pound, but in this case I think the motivation behind it all is much less greedy. I would go as far as to say that, had it not been for the Springbok selectors and their selection policies, this man would still be a contracted player for the Black and White.


  • Good luck over in Ireland Ruan…..keep the Sharks name high over there.

  • Comment 1, posted at 03.09.10 13:45:40 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
    Assistant coach
  • Hopefully he can play in one position and improve his game and come back a better player.

  • Comment 2, posted at 03.09.10 13:59:23 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
    lostfishSuper Rugby player
  • It’s a pity to see Ruan leave – always enjoyed his breaks from the side of the ruck.

  • Comment 3, posted at 03.09.10 14:09:30 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    vanmartinAssistant coach
  • No comment!! :roll: :twisted:

  • Comment 4, posted at 03.09.10 14:13:44 by wpw Reply
    wpwAssistant coach
  • Ruan will come back a stronger player afterwards. Hopefully it will be for the Sharks but if not we’ll enjoy seeing him play for the Boks again one day. He is simply too talented not to.

  • Comment 5, posted at 03.09.10 14:23:12 by CapeShark Reply
    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
  • I agree with you Rich. Adios, Pinie. I hope things work our for you

  • Comment 6, posted at 03.09.10 14:48:39 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • Good luck Ruan. Have a wonderful time.

  • Comment 7, posted at 03.09.10 14:49:17 by Jarson Reply
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    JarsonXAssistant coach
  • @robdylan (Comment 6) :

    I am very surpsrised that you agree Rob..

  • Comment 8, posted at 03.09.10 14:49:53 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard FergusonCoach
  • @lostfish (Comment 2) : Totally agree….the move is best for him as he got messed around a bit, both by the Sharks and Boks. Hopefully he’s get a chance to play exclusively at scrummie and come back in 2 years in top form. He is a confidence player and had clearly lost his confidence when playing for the Boks recently.

  • Comment 9, posted at 03.09.10 14:53:32 by Villie Reply
    Competition Winner
    VillieCurrie Cup player
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 8) : Dig the limited edition jerseys….are they available for sale at the club shop?

  • Comment 10, posted at 03.09.10 14:54:10 by Villie Reply
    Competition Winner
    VillieCurrie Cup player
  • @Villie (Comment 10) :

    Thanx man.. We are hoping to get some more info regarding the new jerseys..

  • Comment 11, posted at 03.09.10 14:55:28 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard FergusonCoach
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 11) : You’re pink avatar jersey looks pretty cool, black and pink does not look too bad.

    I hope the sharks made their jersey’s bright pink like your avatar is, I don’t like the baby pink they usually use that much.

  • Comment 12, posted at 03.09.10 15:16:03 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
    LetgoAssistant coach
  • @Letgo (Comment 12) :

    Doubt they will change the original campaign colour…

  • Comment 13, posted at 03.09.10 15:24:14 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    IceAssistant coach
  • @Letgo (Comment 12) :

    Thanx.. A bit of time spent in Paint and thats what it came out as..

    As long as its pink, I dont think the campaign would care..

  • Comment 14, posted at 03.09.10 15:28:24 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard FergusonCoach
  • alll the best Ruan. you will be missed by all sharks fans. run em ragged in ireland.

    does anyone know what the jersey will look like for this saturday?

  • Comment 15, posted at 03.09.10 16:59:34 by richzed Reply

    richzedUnder 19 player
  • Good luck Ruan, Show dem!

    If Januarie can be praised by Ospreys, Ruan will have them picking their jaws off the floor!!

    Always a place for you in the Sharks setup!

  • Comment 16, posted at 03.09.10 17:01:54 by Mole Reply

    MoleUnder 21 player
  • @Mole (Comment 16) : pity because Ruan and Pat might have really worked!but nevertheless good luck Ruan not that you need it, you will always be CLASS!!!!

  • Comment 17, posted at 03.09.10 18:57:57 by ruggabugga Reply

    ruggabuggaVodacom Cup player
  • if ruan pienaar got an extended run at flyhalf he could challenge fourie du preez as the best scrumhalf in the world damn de villiers and plumtree but he needs to grow a set , I understand his pain but he wines a bit

  • Comment 18, posted at 03.09.10 20:17:46 by zvision10 Reply

    zvision10Under 21 player

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