Ruan Pienaar signs three-year extension at Ulster
South African international ends speculation on his future with new deal
Ruan Pienaar will remain at Ulster until the summer of 2017 at least after signing a three-year contract extension. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho
South Africa international Ruan Pienaar has ended speculation over his future by agreeing a three-year extension to his contract with Ulster.
The new deal will keep the halfback at Ravenhill until at least the summer of 2017.
French Top 14 side Toulon were believed to have been interested in signing the 29-year-old, who joined Ulster at the beginning of the 2010/11 season.
Playing both scrumhalf and outhalf for the side, Pienaar has scored 510 points in 63 games. He has won 71 international caps for South Africa, the latest of which came in the Rugby Championship decider against the All Blacks on Saturday.
Commenting on his contract extension, Pienaar, said: “I am delighted to be staying at Ulster. I have really enjoyed my first three seasons at the province and I am looking forward to helping the team compete for silverware in the coming years.”
Ulster’s Director of Rugby, David Humphreys, added: “To be successful, you need top-class players, therefore I am extremely pleased that Ruan, who is one of the best scrumhalves anywhere in the world, is extending his time with us.
“The announcement of this contract will give everyone at Ulster Rugby – the players, the staff and the fans a huge lift, especially as it had been wrongly reported that Ruan would be leaving us.
“It was no surprise to us that his services were coveted by other clubs, but we always knew that what we could offer him in terms of a great playing squad, a world class stadium and state-of-the-art training facilities would be enough to make him want to stay.
“Ruan’s decision to commit to three more years at Ravenhill is a huge endorsement of what we are doing at Ulster and I have no doubt that he will be a key part of our success in the coming seasons.”