Ulster insist Ruan Pienaar will fulfil his contract
Ulster say Ruan Pienaar will play for the province again next season despite speculation linking him with a return to his native South Africa.
Reports emanating from the southern hemisphere have suggested that Springbok coach Peter de Villiers would like Pienaar to play in South Africa ahead of next year's World Cup.
"Ruan is contracted here until the end of next season and reports coming from South Africa are pure speculation. We know nothing about that as yet," said Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin.
The reports hinted that the Bulls and the Stormers would be interested in acquiring his services, possibly on loan, and that de Villiers would favour playing Pienaar at fly-half ahead of the World Cup in New Zealand in September.
The 27-year-old is three caps short of his Test half-century and has scored 199 points in 15 Magners League games for Ulster.
Pienaar was named Magners League Players' Player of the Year in Dublin on Sunday night.
The player's agent, Gerrie Swart, is quoted as saying that Pienaar has a contract with Ulster until the end of June 2012, but did not rule out the possibility of a return to the Sharks after that.