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Pienaar savouring what is left of his time at Kingspan

By Jonathan Bradley

Kingspan Player of the Month Ruan Pienaar admits the support given to him by the Ulster faithful in recent months has been overwhelming.

Despite the loss to Clermont over the weekend, things have improved on the pitch in recent weeks but the South African was voted by the fans as the pick of the bunch for November, a time when results were not going the side's way.

The 32-year-old joked that he may have been chosen by default.

"I think it's always nice to get recognised like this," he said.

"It was in a period when we struggled so maybe the fans didn't really know who to pick.

"It's a team sport and you don't get anything like this without the guys around you so it's about them really."

Of course, Pienaar will be forced to end his Ulster stay at the end of the season after an IRFU ruling that he would not be granted a contract extension.

While both province and player are bitterly disappointed to see their relationship coming to an end after seven years, the 88-times capped Springbok is determined to make the most of his remaining time at Kingspan Stadium.

"Obviously it's coming to the end of my time here," he said.

"I've only got six months left in this jersey and I want to enjoy it. I don't want to put too much pressure on myself and in some ways that's worked.

"With limited time left, you just want to enjoy every training session with the guys, every chance to be in the 23, every chance to pull on the jersey.

"I'm grateful for the support, it's been a bit overwhelming I guess.

"A lot of people have expressed their feelings."

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