Pietersen turns down Lions offer to stay to stay at Sharks

2010-10-09 00:00

JP PIETERSEN, the Sharks’ 2007 World Cup-winning wing, has turned down a massive offer to join the Lions and he will stay on in Durban.

The 24-year-old Pietersen’s current contract with the Sharks ends in December and the Blue Bulls and Golden Lions have both made him lucrative offers to leave Durban.

While the Bulls have now signed prolific Griqua try-scorer Bjorn Basson, the Lions were confident of signing Pietersen after it is believed they offered him a contract of R3,5 million for three years.

Former Sharks coach Dick Muir, now the director of coaching with the Lions, has led the efforts to sign his former protégé.

Muir, as the Sharks coach, rushed the 19-year-old Pietersen into Super 14 rugby in 2006 and within months the tall wing was playing for the Springboks.

A source with the Lions yesterday confirmed that Pietersen has turned down an offer and has now extended his contract with the Sharks .

“He is happy in Durban and doesn’t want to move to Jo’burg,” he said. “He wants to stay a Shark and has signed a three-year contract.”

Sharks officials would not comment on the signing yesterday, but said an announcement will be made next week. However, they have previously confirmed that they were keen to keep Pietersen in Durban, “but could not hope to match the money being offered by the Lions”.

It is believed that Pietersen has accepted a similar contract to that offered by all the other senior Springboks in the Sharks squad.

Pietersen is nursing a hamstring strain at the moment, but coach John Plumtree is hoping the 1,90 metre, 102 kg winger will be ready for the Currie Cup semi-final in Durban next week Saturday.

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