Saturday 16 December 2017

Blues to foil Pienaar farewell

Ulster v Leinster Live BBC2NI, Kingspan, KO 5.15

Leinster manager Leo Cullen. Photo: Sportsfile
Leinster manager Leo Cullen. Photo: Sportsfile

Leinster find out exactly what is ahead of them around noon when the identity of Ulster's number nine is revealed.

The faithful Kingspan fans in unison with the coaching and playing staff will be motivated over and above themselves should Ruan Pienaar recover from injury to make it tomorrow evening for what will be his last time in white.

It will also give Leinster the valuable hit out they need.

"We want to go there and put in a performance that leaves us in a good place going into the semi-final," said coach Leo Cullen.

For all of Ulster's failings this season - and there have been many - Pienaar has generally risen above the mediocrity around him.

Common sense would dictate that the emotion generated by Pienaar's last match would make Ulster better than they have been for most of the season.

Whatever about being the best overseas, or foreign, signing made in Irish rugby, the scrum-half stands alone for Ulster.

The argument over his right to stay on is a strong one for his influence on and away from the pitch.

The necessity of the Irish Rugby Football Union to drive Irish players out to the four-corners of the provinces is stronger.

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