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Friday, 15 February, 2002, 14:20 GMT
Pienaar to quit Saracens
Saracens boss Francois Pienaar
Pienaar said poor results influenced his decision
Francois Pienaar has resigned as Saracens coach and chief executive officer.

The South African legend, who joined Saracens as a player in 1996, will stand down at the end of the season.

Club owner Nigel Wray said: "Francois has demonstrated huge commitment and passion for Saracens through the past five and a half years.

  Francois Pienaar's Saracens career
1995 Leads South Africa to World Cup
1996 Joins Saracens as a player
1998 Now Saracens coach, he leads them to Tetley's cup final win over Wasps
1999 Saracens finish third in the league and qualify for Europe
2001 Saracens finish fifth in Zurich Premiership
2002 Saracens lose in the quarter finals of Powergen Cup and European shield on succesive weekends
15 Feb 2002 With Saracens struggling to qualify for Europe Pienaar announces his intention to stand down at the end of the season

"He has been instrumental in the transformation from what was essentially an amateur park team into a model, innovative and professional rugby club.

"It has been immensely frustrating for Francois and for the club that his great efforts have not been rewarded by more success on the field.

"He firmly believes that a change is required to take the side forwards," added Wray.

"Francois will help co-ordinate the search for a new coach to ensure a smooth and seamless transition.

"While I regret Francois' difficult decision, I am delighted that he wishes to remain very closely associated with the club."

For his part, Pienaar acknowledged that disappointing results were the key factor in his departure.

"While Saracens has continued to grow in many areas, this progress has, frustratingly, not been matched by results on the field," Pienaar said.

Saracens chief Francois Pienaar
"I just think the club is ready for a change"
See also:

13 Feb 02 |  English
Lane joins Sarries staff
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