Sharks coach Sean Everitt believes veteran wing JP Pietersen’s fitness and conditioning has improved significantly during his time in Europe.
The 32-year-old recently returned to the Sharks after a combined three-year stint at English club Leicester Tigers and French powerhouse Toulon.
Pietersen, who signed as a player but will also be developed within the age-group system for a future coaching role, was selected in the Sharks starting lineup for Friday’s match against Griquas.
When asked whether the player was in the right physical condition, Everitt indicated that Pietersen’s fitness levels had exceeded expectation.
‘We’re all well aware of where JP has been the last couple of seasons; he has been in France, playing for Toulon. And he has come back in really good shape. In the past, JP has been criticised for being out of condition, especially when he came back to Durban after his stints in Japan. But he has grown as a person over the last few years and he has certainly been a revelation at training,’ the coach said.
Everitt also mentioned that Pietersen boasts more experience than most other players within the Sharks set-up and that it will help the youngsters to have him around.
‘He has brought a lot of energy and, most importantly, he has brought leadership and advice to the youngsters on the practice field. We are delighted to have JP back and I think any team would, especially when you consider his experience and the number of Tests he has played for South Africa.’
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