Ruan Pienaar back to PRO14 rugby after signing with Cheetahs

Ruan Pienaar back to PRO14 rugby after signing with Cheetahs

Former Springbok scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar has signed a two-year contract with the Cheetahs.

The versatile scrumhalf, a former World Cup winner with John Smith’s side in 2007, played in 88 tests for South Africa.

Pienaar returned to South Africa after playing for Ulster in 141 matches and then representing Montpellier where a host of South Africans ply their trade.

At Ulster he played many matches in the former PRO12 which was expanded to the PRO14 competition with the addition of the Southern Kings and the Cheetahs two years ago.

He will thus be returning to familiar stomping fields and crowds, but still has a Currie Cup season with the Cheetahs before then.

♦ Pienaar was regarded as one of the top scrumhalves in Europe when he had to leave Ulster in 2017 due to a ruling that Irish clubs could not renew contracts with overseas players.

The son of Bok fullback Gysie made his mark in the Free State but then moved to the Sharks where he played for the coastal union between 2005 and 2010, adding 67 caps to his first-class resumé.

He represented South Africa at U19, U21 and senior test match level. He has a rather unique record in that he was in the U19 (2003) and U21 (2005) squads that won the IRB competitions and of course the senior IRB World Cup (2007) squad.

He became a Springbok while in Durban in 2006 and played his last test against Argentina in the semi-final of the 2015 World Cup.