|Full name||Jon-Paul Roger Pietersen|
12 July 1986 |
Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa
|Height||1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)|
|Weight||106 kg (16 st 10 lb; 234 lb)|
|School(s) attended||Hoërskool Generaal Hertzog. Witbank|
|Relatives||Dusty Noble, Howard Noble (cousins)|
|Playing position||Wing / Centre / Fullback|
|Current club||Leicester Tigers|
|2005–2012||Sharks (Currie Cup)||42||(85)|
|2013–2016||Panasonic Wild Knights||25||(70)|
* Senior club appearances and points correct as of 23 July 2016.
Jon-Paul Roger "JP" Pietersen (born 12 July 1986 in Stellenbosch, South Africa) is a South African rugby union footballer. He generally plays fullback or wing for Leicester Tigers in the English Premiership. He played in 69 tests for the Springboks.
Pietersen was educated at the Hoërskool Generaal Hertzog in Witbank, but made his provincial debut with the Sharks as a 19-year-old during the 2005 Currie Cup season. His 2006 Super 14 season was disrupted by injuries but despite this, he was included in the South African under-21 team to compete at the 2006 Under 21 Rugby World Championship. South Africa made the final, but were defeated by the hosts, France. Upon arriving back to South Africa after the under-21 World Championship he was named in the Springboks' 2006 Tri Nations Series squad where he debuted against New Zealand at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg.
Pietersen's deceptive pace and gliding runs make him an unpredictable back-line player, with the ability to break the line at will and create attacking opportunities for his team. He is also a clinical finisher, and was the leading try scorer in the 2007 Super 14 competition with 12 tries from 15 games. Pietersen remains a firm fan favourite for the unpredictable and exciting dimension his play brings to the team. Before the emergence of Francois Steyn at the Sharks franchise, Pietersen was seen as the ideal replacement for Percy Montgomery as fullback, however with Steyn being able to play at fullback, wing or fly-half, Pietersen focused on wing as his primary position, and it is in this role that most of his appearances have been made for club and country.
He was selected into the Springboks 2007 Rugby World Cup squad. Starting in the first two matches, Pietersen scored three tries. He was impressive in the game against England, scoring two tries and setting up a third.
However, post World Cup Pietersen went on to establish the most capped wing combination in Springbok history with Bryan Habana, standing currently at 25 tests, ten more than next best, James Small and Jaques Olivier. Aside from his obvious attacking abilities, Pietersen is widely regarded for his outstanding defence. His cover defence being the saving grace of the Springbok's 2008 End of Year Tour, manfully keeping the Welsh at bay, and dominating his opposite Shane Williams. His all-round skills remain of the highest standard, maturing into one of the best wings post readmission.
Pietersen was called up for South Africa's 2011 Rugby World Cup campaign starting the first game in a 17–16 victory for the Springboks against Wales. South Africa then thrashed Fiji 49–3 with Pietersen this time playing on the left wing. Pietersen did not play when South Africa thrashed Namibia 87–0. He started again on the right wing as South Africa squeezed past Samoa 13–5. South Africa were then through to the quarter-finals of the world cup. South Africa were then knocked out of the tournament losing 11–9 against Australia. He has also scored 4 tries in the 2015 world cup.
In April 2013, it was announced that he would play for Panasonic Wild Knights in the 2013–14 Top League in Japan, meaning he missed out on the Sharks' 2013 Currie Cup Premier Division campaign, but would return to the Sharks for the 2014 Super Rugby season.
- 2013年度 スローガン/新体制、2013年度新加入選手（追加）、2012年度退部選手（追加）のお知らせ (Press release) (in Japanese). Panasonic Wild Knights. 8 May 2013. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- "JP on sabbatical". Sharks. 22 April 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- "World Cup winner Pietersen to join the Tigers" (Press release). Leicester Tigers. 11 January 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
- JP Pietersen's official website
- "SA Rugby Player Profile – JP Pietersen". South African Rugby Union. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
- JP Pietersen at Genslin Springbok stats
- JP Pietersen on sharksrugby.co.za
- JP: I was born to play rugby
- JP Pietersen on 2011 sharksrugby.co.za
- JP Pietersen at itsrugby.co.uk