Ruan Pienaar, the iconic Springbok scrumhalf, could be stepping away from his playing career and into a new era as a coach.
Reports indicate he might soon take on a significant coaching role with the Cheetahs, potentially mirroring the trajectory of South African national team coach, Rassie Erasmus.
Ruan Pienaar’s Coaching Potential
With an impressive 88 Test caps, Ruan Pienaar’s transition into coaching has been anticipated by many. Ulster previously expressed interest in facilitating this move, but Pienaar decided to extend his playing career.
Recent developments following his contract extension with the Cheetahs suggest retirement after the 2023/24 season could be the catalyst for his coaching journey.
The Cheetahs’ Plan
The Cheetahs have indicated to Rapport newspaper that they are preparing Ruan Pienaar for a crucial role within their coaching team. Current head coach Hawies Fourie’s potential departure to Boland could accelerate Pienaar into the head coach position.
Ruan Pienaar and the Erasmus Path
Should Ruan Pienaar become head coach, his career development would parallel that of Rassie Erasmus. Erasmus also made a swift transition from playing to coaching, taking over the Cheetahs soon after retirement.
This experience proved foundational to his eventual success as the Springboks’ head coach, with multiple Rugby World Cup wins.
Frans Steyn: Facilitating the Transition
Frans Steyn, a fellow Springbok veteran and the Cheetahs’ director of rugby, is currently discussing Pienaar’s coaching future. Pienaar could begin as an attack coach if he prefers a gradual transition.
Pienaar’s vast experience and rugby intellect point towards a bright coaching future. His imminent move to the Cheetahs’ coaching ranks marks a new and exciting phase for this Springbok great.
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