Currie Cup

RWC winner JP Pietersen retires after stellar career, takes up Sharks coaching gig

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JP Pietersen for Springboks
JP Pietersen for Springboks
Mike Egerton - PA Images/Getty

Rugby World Cup winner and former Springbok wing JP Pietersen has called time on an illustrious rugby playing career, which has spanned 16 years.

The Sharks confirmed on Friday that the 34-year-old will now take up a junior coaching role at Kings Park.

Pietersen played 70 Tests for the Springboks from 2006-2016 and was a member of the victorious 2007 Rugby World Cup squad.

The wing has played over 180 games for the Sharks and has stated that it was time to close the chapter.

"It has been an absolute privilege and an honour to play for The Sharks, a team that I've supported all my life and through that journey I got to represent my country," said Pietersen in a Sharks press release.

"I close this chapter on my playing career knowing that I gave my very best to the game that gave me everything I have."

In 2005, JP joined the Sharks Academy directly out of school and quickly established himself as a first choice regular in the Sharks' side.

He was a huge contributor to the Sharks and Springboks success during his playing career and will always be regarded as a legend of the game.

"I was very fortunate, that I took the opportunities I had and now it’s all about giving back to rugby, passing on what I have learned in my career," said Pietersen.

"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, and I hope I can make a positive impact in my new role."

The Sharks have scooped up the former Springboks' expertise as they offered him a junior coaching role to impart knowledge on the franchise's next generation.

"We congratulate JP on a fantastic playing career. His professionalism over the years and loyalty to The Sharks brand will always be admired," said the Sharks CEO, Dr Eduard Coetzee.

"To have someone of his calibre enter the Cell C Sharks junior coaching structures is a massive plus for us and 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."

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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