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VIDEO: Cheetahs plan 'fitting' Ulster send-off for retiring Pienaar

Stade Marcel-Michelin in Clermont could be veteran Springbok Ruan Pienaar’s last appearance as a player.


However, the Cheetahs hope to extend his career by at least one more week and give him a ‘fitting farewell’ at Ravenhill Stadium in Belfast.

Pienaar, who confirmed that he would be retiring after the European season, is a member of the Cheetahs squad that is in France for a Challenge Cup Round of 16 face-off with Clermont Auvergne v Cheetahs on Saturday.

If the Cheetahs lose to the star-studded French side at Stade Marcel-Michelin, it will be Pienaar’s final game.

However, the Cheetahs hope that they can extend his career to include a first-ever European quarterfinal for the Cheetahs.

Their opponents in the last eight will be either French club Montpellier or Irish province Ulster.

Captain Victor Sekekete said a clash with Ulster – for seven years the scrumhalf’s home – would be a perfect send-off for Pienaar, given that he has played for both teams.

(WATCH as Cheetahs captain Victor Sekekete speaks about giving Ruan Pienaar a ‘fitting send-off‘….)

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“It will be something special,” Sekekete said.

“It will give Ruan a great send-off.

“I think that would be fitting – a great bigger picture.

“To make it to the next round [quarterfinals] will be a good send-off for Ruan, especially if we can play against Ulster, where he played the most of his rugby.”


The skipper said Pienaar’s experience of playing in Europe during his nearly decade-long stay in Belfast (140-odd games for Ulster) will be vital to their cause in Clermont on Saturday.

“He has given a lot to the [Cheetahs] team [since his return in 2019],” he told @rugby365com.

Sekekete said they have already ‘learnt a lot’ and will continue to gain from his wisdom of well over 300 first-class games and 88 Tests.

Pienaar revealed earlier this year that will not be playing in the Currie Cup from July.

Pienaar, who made his Bok debut against New Zealand at Loftus Versfeld, in Pretoria, in August 2006, played the last of his 88 Tests against Argentina in London in a third-place play-off at the 2015 World Cup.

Born and bred in Bloemfontein, featured in the Cheetahs youth structures before moving to the Sharks in 2004.

Then followed a long stay at Ulster (2010 to 2017), Montpellier (2017 to 2019) and returning to Bloemfontein in 2019.




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