Ruan Pienaar calls time on Test career

Date published: October 7 2016

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Ruan Pienaar has confirmed his Test career with the Springboks has come to an end.

Pienaar last played for South Africa at the 2015 World Cup and asked coach Allister Coetzee not be considered for the June series against Ireland which the Boks won 2-1.

Pienaar has not been called up for the Rugby Championship and confirmed to the Belfast Telegraph his international career is over.

"I think that's probably it," Pienaar said. "I'm happy with my decision and I'll put my energy into Ulster now and whatever is waiting in the next year or two.

"I'm still supporting the guys but that's probably the end."

Pienaar played in 88 Tests for the Springboks during which time he won the 2007 World Cup and tasted a series victory over the British and Irish Lions in 2009.

Pienaar, who plays for Irish side Ulster, will leave the club at the end of the season due to the RFU's succession policy but said he hoped his situation didn't deter other players from joining the club.

Pienaar, who has often been used in the recruitment of prospective South African signings when Ulster displayed an interest, desperatewly wanted to stay in Ireland where his family have made their home.

While some have voiced concerns that such treatment of a figure who gave so much to Ulster Rugby on and off the field will make other big name stars think twice before joining the club, Pienaar says that should not be the case.

"It's a tough one," he admitted. "Hopefully this won't stop other players coming here because Ulster is a great club with great traditions.

"There's brilliant players and the squad they are building is going to do something special in the next few years. Hopefully it'll still be a club that appeals to players and families to come here and enjoy not only the rugby but all that Belfast and Northern Ireland has to offer.

"It's a great country with great people and hopefully a lot of big international players will still choose to come to Ulster in the future."

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