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Pro14

Ruan Pienaar quits Montpellier

Quits with 1 year remaining on his contract

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Photo by THIERRY BRETON/AFP/Getty ImagesA

Former Springbok Ruan Pienaar will not be playing with Top 14 outfit Montpellier next season.

The club released a statement yesterday that read:

“After being affected by a family drama during the season, Ruan Pienaar announced his decision to end his contract at the end of the 2018/2019 season. A decision understood and accepted by Montpellier Hérault Rugby, which releases the player one year before the end of his contract.”

Ruan Pienaar:  

“I want to thank my teammates with whom I have played for the past two seasons and all the fans. I wish the club every success for years to come. “

“We thank Ruan for the professionalism he has shown during his two seasons with the MHR and wish him all the best.
Montpellier Hérault Rugby.”

Pienaar (35) has not played since February. His sister was tragically killed in a road traffic accident in South Africa and he was granted 6 weeks of compassionate leave to return to his family in South Africa.

Since his return he has not lined out for MHR and had been linked with a move away from the club.

It’s been well documented that his family did not settle well in France and quickly returned to Belfast where Pienaar spent several seasons with Irish Province Ulster.

Pienaar was blocked from signing an extension with Ulster by the IRFU and ultimately forced to move away despite previously turning down lucrative contracts offers in France to remain with Ulster.

Pienaar’s next move is unclear. He had previously been linked with a move to the Pro14 side , Toyota Cheetahs but has also been on record saying he would love to return to Belfast. A playing opportunity would most likely be blocked again by the IFRU but at 35, Pienaar could be looking into the next stage of his career and be open to a coaching position. 

We’re sure he’ll not be short of offers.

Champions Cup

Another Fijian Heads to Scotland

Glasgow Warriors have confirmed the signing of a Fijian star only two days after Edinburgh captured the signing of Mesulame Kunavula

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(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Glasgow Warriors have announced the signing of Fijian hooker Mesu Dolokota on a two-year deal from Fijian Drua.

The 24-year-old was named in Fiji’s World Cup training squad last month and will join up with the Warriors following the conclusion of the tournament in Japan.

Dolokoto is happy to be signing for the PRO 14 runners-up and is excited to feature in both the PRO 14 and the Champions Cup.

“I’m very happy to be joining Glasgow Warriors and I’m looking forward to playing in two of the best rugby competitions in the world. The opportunity to learn from such an experienced coaching team and play in such a successful team is very exciting for me. The club has a strong Fijian history and I hope I can be a big part of it going forward,” he said.

The hooker has nine international caps for Fiji as well as having experience in Super Rugby with the Brumbies in 2015 and Glasgow assistant coach John Dalziel is delighted to add more experience to the squad.

“Mesu is an exciting talent who will bring even more international experience to our front row. He isn’t your traditional front-row forward, he likes to bring a bit of Fijian flair to his game, but he can also do the basics very well and we’re excited to work with him when he shows up following international duty,” he said.

Dolokoto follows the footsteps of fellow Fijian Mesulame Kunavula, who joined Edinburgh only a couple of days ago and the PRO 14 can look forward to some Fijian flare next season.

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Champions Cup

Leinster Unveil New European and Alternative Jerseys

Leinster have revealed their European and alternative jerseys for the 2019/20 season

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(Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Leinster have unveiled their new Adidas European and alternative jerseys for the 2019/20 season.

The European jersey is an alteration on the traditional blue home jerseys worn by the reigning two-time PRO 14 champions.

Leinster have revealed that the jersey has been inspired by meteorites that were once used to create iron spears and will be worn by the club for the next two seasons.

“The pattern of the Leinster Rugby European jersey takes inspiration from meteorites that fell from the sky and were used by the Laighin people to create their iron spear. These meteorite formations form the graphic design of the jersey paying homage to the tale of the metal of the Gods, providing bold and vibrant energy for Leinster Rugby’s European campaign,” they said on their official website.

The alternative jersey is a shade of purple with black strips horizontally across the shirt.

They have said that this jersey is inspired by the purple skyline that is seen across the east coach of Ireland.

“The Alternate jersey embodies the electric energy of Ireland’s east coast at night. The iconic purple skyline forms the colour inspiration for this season’s kit. Incorporating a twist on the traditional hoop design, the kit harnesses the vibrant energy of the province, whilst maintaining a classic look and feel,” they added.

As well as the two new jerseys Leinster will continue to wear their Adidas home jersey from the 2018/19 season for the season ahead.

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Pro14

Cardiff Blues Cut Ties with Key Coach

Cardiff Blues are on the look out for a new attack coach according to reports

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(Photo By Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Cardiff Blues have let go of attack coach Jason Strange just a year after signing him up according to WalesOnline. 

Head coach John Mulvihill appointed the U20’s Grand Slam winning coach in what was his first move last year as he took over, however, he is said to be unimpressed by the team’s attacking showings last season and is in the market for a new coach.

The Cardiff Blues finished fifth in their PRO 14 conference, scoring 60 tries and missed out on qualification to the Champions Cup as a result, failing to live up to expectations having claimed Challenge Cup glory the previous season.

Former Welsh scrum-half Richie Rees, who has spent time working with the club’s academy is looking like the most likely replacement at this stage.

However, it is possible that Mulvihill will seek to bring in a more experience figure ahead of the new season.

Strange is considered to be a talented coaching prospect having worked with the Wales U20’s and bringing through 10 first team players from Cardiff’s academy into the first team and should have no problem finding a new project to work on.

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