Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Ruan Pienaar won't rue staying with Ulster, says Mark Anscombe

Ruan Pienaar is staying with Ulster
Ruan Pienaar is staying with Ulster

Ulster coach Mark Anscombe believes that Ruan Pienaar's decision to remain with Ulster rather than take the gravy train to Toulon has sharpened a two-edged sword.

Because, hand-in-hand with Pienaar staying, Ulster are building on and off the pitch. And that, says Anscombe, has sent out a powerful message to the rest of the rugby world: Ulster are a coming force in Europe.

Expressing his delight at the South African scrum-half having signed up until June 2017, Anscombe said: "I think what it proves is that he sees enough happening here to make him want to stay and be part of it.

"We're creating a world-class facility. We've just opened two new stands and now the other one is starting to go up, too. So as well as showing the world what we're producing here on the park, we've actually got a park here that we can be immensely proud of."

Tomorrow night Ulster launch their Heineken Cup campaign against Leicester Tigers, one of the big English clubs who, along with their French counterparts, are threatening the tournament's future.

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