Springboks

Pedrie backs Ruan for Boks

2012-05-03 22:14
Ruan Pienaar (AFP)
Cape Town - Ruan Pienaar should be a strong candidate for the Springbok scrumhalf berth, according to his Ulster team-mate Pedrie Wannenburg.

Pienaar struggled in the past to establish himself in a position with the Springboks, featuring either at flyhalf, scrumhalf or fullback.

But this season the 28-year-old has excelled in the No 9 jersey at Irish club Ulster, who he helped reach the Heineken Cup final with a dominant display in their semi-final against Edinburgh on Saturday.

Ulster beat Edinburgh 22-19 to reach their first Heineken Cup final since they won the tournament in 1999.

Pienaar scored 17 points, with a perfect six out of six kicks, and dictated most of the Irish side's crucial incursions as they booked a May 19 final at Twickenham against Leinster.

And Wannenburg, himself a former Bok loose forward, believes Pienaar should be in contention for South Africa's upcoming three-Test series against England in June.

"I personally believe Ruan is playing the best rugby of his life," Wannenburg told Volksblad.

"I think the fact that he plays in one position consistently plays a role (in his good form). His kicking is on song again and the Bok selectors won't make a mistake if they pick him. To be named as Rabodirect pro 12 Player of the Year for the second time in succession says a lot."

The Irish media has been full of praise for Pienaar, eighthman Wannenburg and fellow South Africans Johan Muller (lock) and Stefan Terblanche (utility back), who have contributed greatly to the team's success.

Their opponents in the Heinken Cup final, Leinster, also boast two South Africans in hooker Richardt Strauss and prop Heinke van der Merwe.

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