JP Pietersen will take up a junior coaching role at the Sharks after officially calling time on an illustrious career that has spanned 16 years.
Pietersen played over 180 games for the Sharks, was capped 70 times for the Springboks, and was a key member of the 2007 World Cup-winning squad.
In 2005, JP joined the Sharks Academy directly out of school and quickly established himself as a first-choice regular in the Sharks side.
Between 2013 and 2019, he also spent time playing with the Panasonic Wild Knights, Leicester Tigers and Toulon, but returned to Durban to finish up his career with the Sharks.
The 34-year-old will now take up a junior coaching role.
‘We congratulate JP on a fantastic playing career. His professionalism over the years and loyalty to the Sharks brand will always be admired,’ said Sharks CEO Eduard Coetzee.
‘To have someone of his calibre enter the Sharks junior coaching structures is a massive plus for us and his wealth of experience and success at all levels bode 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.’
Pietersen added: ‘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. I close this chapter on my playing career knowing that I gave my very best to the game that gave me everything I have.
‘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.
‘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.’
Photo: Steve Haag