The Toyota Cheetahs received a massive boost ahead of Saturday’s Currie Cup final against the Airlink Pumas when it was confirmed that 39-year old stalwart Ruan Pienaar had extended his contract for another year.
Pienaar, who was the man of the match and engineered the big 39-10 win over the Vodacom Bulls last weekend, is a key figure that seems to get better with time, and despite being a lot older than most professional players, he just keeps on going.
His contract was going to end in October, but coach Hawies Fourie confirmed he had signed on for another year.
“Ruan has extended with us for another year so he will be with us for another season,” Fourie announced with a massive smile.
“He will play the same role that he has played for us this year. He is still enjoying his rugby and he is a very competitive person so he will want to finish his career on a high.
“Ruan won’t just play for money and will give his weight to the Cheetahs and give his input. He is our most experienced player and is always part of the conversation of what to do and how to do things.
“He will support Victor (Sekekete, the Cheetahs captain), he will be the leader of the backs and on the field he can play nine or 10 and will be the general on the pitch as well. So, nothing different from the past season.”
Pienaar putting pen to paper is a massive boost in the week where the Cheetahs hope to avenge the semifinal loss to the Pumas from last season.
But Fourie has some injury problems as he waits for news on props Schalk Ferreira and Hencus van Wyk, who both left the field with head knocks and need to continue return-to-play protocols before they can be selected.
The Cheetahs will select their side for the final on Friday.