Twitter reacts to Springbok World Cup winner JP Pietersen's retirement

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JP Pietersen (AP)
JP Pietersen (AP)

South Africa Rugby World Cup winner JP Pietersen announced his retirement on Friday at the age of 34.

Pietersen, who played mostly as a winger, made 70 Springbok appearances scoring 24 tries. He appeared in three World Cups, collecting a winner's medal at the first, in 2007.

He started and ended his career with the Durban-based Sharks and had stints in Japan and with Leicester Tigers and Toulon in Europe.

Pietersen stated on social media that he was grateful for "such a long career that has unfolded beyond my wildest dreams."

"Rugby has changed my life for the better and I will be forever grateful for what this game has done for me."

"It will take a while for all of this to sink in, but I'm so fortunate to have been able to represent my country."

Former team-mates and opponents quickly responded on Twitter and Instagram.

"Legend," posted Springboks Jesse Kriel and Jean-Luc du Preez and former Toulon team-mate and France captain Mathieu Bastareaud.

"World class," wrote another Springbok, Warrick Gelant.

"Honoured to have played alongside you," posted ex-France centre Maxime Mermoz, who overlapped with Pietersen at Toulon. "Your happiness is contagious!"

"Congrats on an epic career," wrote England international Freddie Burns, a team-mate at the Tigers.

"Well done on a great haul," said South African born les Bleus scrumhalf Rory Kockott, a former Sharks team-mate.

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