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Ruan Pienaar in line for October return to Ulster after joining PRO14 side

 

New chapter: Ruan Pienaar
New chapter: Ruan Pienaar
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

Ulster are set for a reunion with former scrum-half Ruan Pienaar - however, it is not the one the fans were hoping for.

The legendary Springbok, who represented Ulster for seven years between 2010 and 2017, has signed a two-year deal with hometown club the Cheetahs, which will see him return to Kingspan Stadium this season when the two Conference A sides clash in the Guinness PRO14.

It is believed that Ulster were eager for their former player to join the club in a coaching role after he left French side Montpellier, but Pienaar instead opted to keep his playing career going in Bloemfontein.

The 35-year-old was a firm fan favourite in Belfast, making 171 appearances and representing the province in finals in both the Heineken Cup and PRO12.

The Belfast reunion could happen soon, as it is understood that the Cheetahs will visit Ulster in round two of the new PRO14 season, which is pencilled in for the weekend of October 4/5/6.

As with his deal in Montpellier, Pienaar's family will continue to live in Belfast, with the expectation that he will retire here at the end of his Cheetahs contract.

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