JP Pietersen is a no-brainer when it comes to the right wing position in my ideal Fans' XV, writes SIMON BORCHARDT.
Pietersen has spent some time at outside centre and fullback during his rugby career (he has a soft spot for the latter for the counter-attacking opportunities it provides), but it's on the wing where he makes the biggest impact for the Sharks and the Springboks. And having selected Willie le Roux at fullback in my Fans' XV, I need Pietersen's size (103kg, 1.91m) in my back three to give it the right balance.
George North and Israel Folau have this year showed the value of having a big winger in your side, and Pietersen is as good, if not better, than those two. He is quick, a strong ball-carrier, knows his way to the tryline, defends well, and is good under the high ball.
Pietersen says his time at outside centre has helped him to read the game better when on the wing, and be in the right place at the right time. He has also matured and the experience he's gained has helped to improve his decision-making.
All of which makes this one of the easier Fans' XV selections.
* Every weekday a new position will be made available in the Fans' XV, and every time you make a selection you will go into the draw for the grand prize: two tickets for the Boks vs All Blacks Test at Ellis Park, including flights and accommodation!
Photo: Barry Aldworth/BackpagePix
What we’ve learned
Five lessons from the fifth round of the Rugby Championship, according to SIMON BORCHARDT.
Hailing Dad’s Army
The value of veteran Springboks was exhibited in full at Newlands on Saturday. Critics of their selection should shut it, writes RYAN VREDE.
Tour Tales – Cape Town
JON CARDINELLI on a superior sports cathedral, the Cape media scrum, and Joe Tomane’s back-three analysis.