Richard Ferguson

Ruan Pienaar set to leave Ulster

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content on 31 Aug 2016 at 11:53
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

The Irish Times has reported that Ruan Pienaar will leave Ulster at the end of the 2016/2017 year, but it is not due to either the club nor the player wanting the move.

According to this report, a policy within the Irish Rugby Football Union prevents Ulster from renewing it’s current contract with Pienaar. Both parties are said to be rather sad about the run of events.

In short, the IRFU states that only 1 Non-Irish player is allowed per playing position. So if Ulster have Ruan Pienaar at scrumhalf, no other Irish Union is allowed to sign a foreign scrumhalf. This is to help Irish rugby develop by always having 2 Irish players per position at the three large clubs (Ulster, Munster, Leinster).

There are two questions I have following this news – Which other Irish team has already signed a foreign scrumhalf, and how did Ulster allow it to happen knowing full well about this policy?

The other interesting thing to come from is where exactly Pienaar now goes, seeing as Ireland is no longer an option at all. Does he go to another European Country or does he make the move back home?


  • Some other interesting questions besides where does Pienaar go? Is Wiehen Herbst the only foreign prop? Anton Bresler the only foreign lock? How does it work in the backs as Charles Piateau (excuse spelling) is there but so is Louis Ludick?

  • Comment 1, posted at 31.08.16 11:57:45 by SheldonK Reply
  • @SheldonK (Comment 1) :

    It seems to depend heavily on which position you are stated as in your contract. Piateau is possibly listed as a centre, as he had featured there before.

    This ruling has been in effect since 2013, so I am sure it answers your other questions. This is not a new thing..

  • Comment 2, posted at 31.08.16 12:03:38 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 2) : Yeh it just seems odd that a player like Pienaar cant be contracted again but has been there for years…surely the new guy to be signed would be blocked and not Pienaar who has been there all along? Or maybe the new foreigner can qualify for Ireland 😉

  • Comment 3, posted at 31.08.16 12:05:55 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 1) : Louis Ludick is an interesting question as Jaco Taute has just signed a 5 month contract with Munster, I am sure it would be in the fullback berth.

  • Comment 4, posted at 31.08.16 12:05:59 by Warren Harvey Reply

  • @Warren Harvey (Comment 4) : Yeh good point. I mentioned Bresler but forget he is at Edinburgh

  • Comment 5, posted at 31.08.16 12:07:50 by SheldonK Reply

  • Interesting indeed! Being “forced” out of contract will for sure weaken his negotiations for a contract at another team. Once again a player is left hanging because of administrators stuffing up.

  • Comment 6, posted at 31.08.16 12:19:52 by JD Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 3) :

    I think it is merely a matter of timing and when the first contract is signed..

  • Comment 7, posted at 31.08.16 12:20:07 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • You will find that the IRFU would put a maximum duration on how long a guy can be signed for, in order to make it fair.

    It’s not like Ulster would be able to directly veto if, say, Munster wanted to sign a foreign scrumhalf. The IRFU have clearly looked at it and decided Ulster have “hogged” the scrumhalf slot for long enough and hence Pienaar must move on after 6 years. He’s been there more than long enough and they really should have developed Irish cover for him over that period.

    That’s the thinking, anyway…. what they feel they need to do to protect their national team. Is it working? I think it might be.,

  • Comment 8, posted at 31.08.16 12:22:40 by robdylan Reply
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  • Pienaar’s not going to be short of options anyway. Reckon the UK clubs will be all over him

  • Comment 9, posted at 31.08.16 12:23:51 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 8) :

    It is a viable ruling, and I can completely understand the thinking behind it.

    Would be very interesting if similar rules were brought in say in England or France, with a maximum amount of foreign players per position. Say 3 foreign fullbacks across France. Would force a whole lot of players back to their home countries..

  • Comment 10, posted at 31.08.16 12:30:34 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : Good point you make

  • Comment 11, posted at 31.08.16 12:33:21 by SheldonK Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : Most definitely. He won’t leave the UK, they love his style of play.

  • Comment 12, posted at 31.08.16 12:52:33 by Quintin Reply

  • He should rather come back to boost the Cheetahs stock at F/H and not S/H, I think he might have a future esp with no pressure at the Cheetahs. Could help the SA charge with Cheetahs able to take points off NZ teams nxt SR, we need to have 5 Strong Unions.

  • Comment 13, posted at 31.08.16 14:23:20 by Tumza Reply

  • I was gazing at the possible match day 23’s of our 5 SR teams for next year and it seems only the Lions have depth at wing and centre, even at loosehead?? We should try to sign Kock Marx from them, he is a big boy with gas and skills.

  • Comment 14, posted at 31.08.16 14:26:12 by Tumza Reply

  • Leinster have signed Hurricanes scrumhalf , Jamison Gibson-Park,
    but surely that cant affect Pienaar ???

  • Comment 15, posted at 31.08.16 14:34:46 by conrod Reply

  • @conrod (Comment 15) : Yeh it would as far as i understand it.

  • Comment 16, posted at 31.08.16 14:50:24 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 16) : Gibson-Park is a project player as he can play for Ireland in 3 years. It seems the IRFU feels Ulster must develop a local scrummie.

    Rumours are Pienaar is going to Montpellier

  • Comment 17, posted at 31.08.16 16:36:08 by Baylion Reply

  • @Baylion (Comment 17) : What a shock…

  • Comment 18, posted at 31.08.16 18:36:23 by Hulk Reply

  • @Baylion (Comment 17) : That makes sense…imagine that a rugby Union doing whats best for the country and bugger anyone else. Going to Montpelier is a surprise…with Nic White and Cameron Wright. Unless he is going as a flyhalf…

  • Comment 19, posted at 01.09.16 08:24:40 by SheldonK Reply

  • Maybe time to get him back in the Black and White of the Sharks!?

  • Comment 20, posted at 01.09.16 11:20:24 by JD Reply
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  • @Warren Harvey (Comment 4) : Taute is on trial & an injury replacement,so it wouldn’t affect the contracted foreigners.
    You don’t think he would revive his Toulon negotiations of 2013? Just asking 😆

  • Comment 21, posted at 01.09.16 11:20:49 by markm Reply

  • I believe Ruan has applied for a British passport & is in the process of getting it. He has business interests in Ireland & is a partner of a wine brand with Robbie Diaick, so maybe an earlier comment about other UK clubs snapping him up may have some truth to it.He is already 32

  • Comment 22, posted at 01.09.16 11:32:47 by markm Reply

  • @JD (Comment 20) : Please no,he was slow ponderous and dithering 5 years ago,anyway we already have a 9 who is older and wiser.

  • Comment 23, posted at 01.09.16 11:35:46 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 23) : he’s only 32 so practically a spring chicken 😉

  • Comment 24, posted at 01.09.16 12:00:53 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 24) : a full 7 years younger than Matfield !

  • Comment 25, posted at 01.09.16 12:26:37 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 25) : for sure he could still play in 2019 World cup!

  • Comment 26, posted at 01.09.16 12:31:31 by JD Reply
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