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Francois Pienaar Bio
As a former captain of South Africa and a winner of the 1995 Rugby World Cup, Francois Pienaar is undoubtedly a legend of South African rugby.
Born 2 January 1967, Francois Pienaar made his debut for Transvaal in 1989. From then until 1996, he enjoyed a highly successful stay with the side. In 1993, the team won the Super 10, Currie Cup and Lion Cup under his stewardship. The year after, they retained the Currie Cup and he was voted international player of the year by Rugby World magazine.
Due to the success he’d experienced at Transvaal, Francois Pienaar was first selected to represent South Africa in 1993. Between 1993 and 1996, he made 29 appearances for the Springboks, featuring as captain on every occasion.
The highlight of Francois Pienaar’s career was undoubtedly the 1995 Rugby World Cup. The Springboks were seeded ninth going into the tournament, but they left as champions after defeating New Zealand in the final. Following the conclusion of the game, Francois Pienaar was handed the Webb Ellis Cup by Nelson Mandela, who was wearing a Springboks jersey with his number on it.
Shortly after the 1995 Rugby World Cup, Francois Pienaar was instrumental in turning the game professional. However, in 1996, he was controversially dropped from the South Africa side after he was accused of feigning an injury by head coach Andre Markgraaff. As a result, he left South Africa and became a player-coach for Saracens.
Francois Pienaar then retired from the game in 2000, when he took up a role as the CEO of Saracens. However, he stood down from the role in 2002. Although he remains a director of Saracens, he’s now returned to South Africa and regularly works as a pundit. He’s also a member of the International Rugby Hall of Fame and the IRB Hall of Fame.
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