CAPE TOWN — Ruan Pienaar is so keen to run out for the Springboks again that he is willing to play in whatever position coach Heyneke Meyer wants him.
Pienaar (28) has been instrumental at scrumhalf for Irish club side Ulster, who he helped reach the recent Heineken Cup final this past European season.
He was also shortlisted for European Player of the Season.
But he has often in the past been used at either scrumhalf, flyhalf or fullback by the Springboks and the Sharks — a constant shift which many believed proved detrimental to his development as a player.
In his two years at Ulster, he has only been utilised at scrumhalf, where he excelled for the Irish province.
However, when it comes to the Springboks, the 51-Test veteran is willing to play wherever he fits in.
“Scrumhalf would definitely be my preferred position, but I’m hungry to play for the Springboks and will play where I get a spot. Even though I’m playing overseas, my main goal is still to play for the Boks,” he told Volksblad.
“It really helped that I was only used at scrumhalf the past two years. It was good for my confidence.”
Meyer this week confirmed Pienaar will join the Springbok squad when it gathers on Sunday ahead of the England series.
But it remains doubtful that he’ll use him at scrumhalf, especially with his interest in picking Fourie du Preez as his first-choice No Nine and with François Hougaard also in the frame.
This could see Pienaar most likely feature at flyhalf or fullback again.
The first Test against England starts in Durban on June 9, followed by Tests in Johannesburg (June 16) and Port Elizabeth (June 23). — Sport24