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World Cup winner JP Pietersen has retired with immediate effect to move into coaching

By Sam Smith
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

JP Pietersen, the 2007 Springboks World Cup winner, has called time on a 16-year playing career to take up a junior coaching role at the soon-to-be Guinness PRO16 Sharks. The 34-year-old winger made his last appearance in an October Super Rugby win for the Sharks over the Lions.


Pietersen joined the Sharks academy in 2005 straight out of school and went on to play more than 180 times across two spells with the South African franchise. He also played for the Wild Knights in Japan, Leicester in England and Toulon in France.  

Capped 70 times by the Springboks, Pietersen was a starting winger when South Africa defeated England in Paris to win the 2007 World Cup while he also featured in the 2009 Test series victory over the British and Irish Lions.   

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Jonny Wilkinson and Gregor Townsend guest on RugbyPass All Access ahead of Saturday’s Calcutta Cup clash

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Jonny Wilkinson and Gregor Townsend guest on RugbyPass All Access ahead of Saturday’s Calcutta Cup clash

Pietersen said: “It has been an absolute privilege and an honour to play for the Sharks, a team that I have supported all my life and through that journey, I got to represent my country. 

“I close this chapter on my playing career knowing that I gave my very best to the game that gave me everything I have. I was very fortunate that I took the opportunities I had and now it is all about giving back to rugby, passing on what I have learned in my career.

“I take this opportunity to thank every person that has had an impact on my life and career. I cannot thank you enough. The Sharks have given me a wonderful opportunity to move into a coaching role and I’m excited for what the future holds. I hope I can make a positive impact in my new role.”

Sharks CEO Eduard Coetzee added: “We congratulate JP on a fantastic playing career.  His professionalism over the years and loyalty to the Sharks brand will always be admired. “To have someone of his calibre enter the Sharks junior coaching structures is a massive plus for us.


“His wealth of experience and success at all levels bodes well for the youngsters that he will get to mentor. JP is truly deserving of all the success he has achieved, and we are positive that the proud legacy he has carved out in his playing career, will continue in this new chapter as a coach.”


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Morne 17 minutes ago
Thanks but no thanks, the All Blacks do not need to copy the Boks

Some further observations: Most Rugby lovers I know agree that the AB’s have been the gold standard for as long as anyone can remember - very few people disagree. The odd time that any other team has some sort of ascendency - there are always those (albeit the minority) NZ supporters that need to remind us of the AB’s glorious gold standard that anyone winning them is only down to a mixture of pure luck or some or other sinister reason or bias from match officials (or indeed the Universe). For reasons mentioned above, any other team with some ascendency over the AB’s (even if it is the 1st time in 100 years) may not receive a pat on the back and a well-done - as they only did so out of pure luck. In my opinion, if the Boks were in the same realm as the AB’s SF opponents - they would have been smashed also - whether with 14 or 13 or 12 players. But remember they were just “lucky”. As a Bok supporter, I will say this team has done our proud - despite losing some games along the way. Like the AB’s, the games the boks lose are 9/10 times one score games - this is a long way from hidings like 57 - 0…And in that we must be proud. Most of these type of articles - especially those focusing on the RWC final rather conveniently leave out any mention of Pieter Steph du Toit, or even Eben Etzebeth who won all their collusions all day long. So to those very very few bad loser AB supporters out there (definitely the minority) - I’ll say what you want to hear - the AB’s are without any doubt the best Rugby brand ever. They have consistently achieved what all other teams can only dream of. And no doubt they will scale those heights again. Now what about allowing others the odd ray of sunlight that comes our way?

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