Pienaar scoops Magners award
May 9, 2011
Ulster's Ruan Pienaar has been named Magners League Players' Player of the Season © Getty Images
Ulster's Springbok scrum-half, Ruan Pienaar, has capped a fine debut season in European rugby by being named Magners League Players' Player of the Season.
The 27-year-old arrived at Ravenhill from the Sharks, inspiring his new province into the play-offs, where they will face Irish rivals Leinster on Friday, and also the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup.
"It has been an unbelievable first season for me at Ulster," he said. "I came to a place that I didn't know but, thanks to the team, I settled in very quickly and enjoyed myself.
"It is going to be a massive challenge for everyone this weekend, but we will go to Dublin and enjoy the whole experience."
Dragons No.8 Toby Faletau scooped the award as Young Player of the Season following deliberation by a panel of 19 journalists while Munster's Tony McGahan was named coach of the season after masterminding their runaway success in the regular season.
There were two further awards for McGahan's men, with fly-half Ronan O'Gara taking home the Golden Boot and veteran flanker Alan Quinlan recognised with the Chairman's Award, presented by league chief Andy Irvine.
Munster face the Ospreys in the last four, with the Welsh region able to celebrate the Try of the Season award after centre Ashley Beck was honoured for his effort against Glasgow at the Liberty Stadium.
The final award went to Leinster, who secured £10,000 worth of funding for youth development by winning the season's Fair Play gong.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
He teed up Obolensky's try, fought in Burma and played cricket for Warwickshire - we Rewind to look at the story of Peter Cranmer
With the World Cup just a year away, Tom Hamilton picks out five matches to ensure you have tickets for
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup