Springbok JP Pietersen

JP Pietersen. Image via Instagram @jppietersen

Where is former Springbok star JP Pietersen now?

JP Pietersen was one of the most influential wings to ever play for the Springboks. We reflect on his career and what he’s doing today.

Springbok JP Pietersen

JP Pietersen. Image via Instagram @jppietersen

Former Springbok superstar JP Pietersen will be remembered as one of the most iconic modern-day wings.

As a player, he weighted in at around 100kg and stood 1.9m tall. Yet despite his formidable frame, he was one of the most agile and effective speedsters to ever don the green and gold.

Like others who had gone before him for the Springboks, he was referred to by many as a ‘Rolls-Royce’ of rugby.

Born in Stellenbosch in 1986, Pietersen debuted at just 19 for the Natal Sharks (now the Sharks) in the Currie Cup.

Injuries hampered his first Super Rugby season in 2006, but that same year, his talent shone on the international stage. A call-up to the Springboks for the Tri-Nations (now The Rugby Championship) saw him make his debut against New Zealand at the young age of 20.

Pietersen’s speed and elusive runs quickly made him a key player for both the Sharks and the Springboks. He was the leading try scorer in the 2007 Super 14 competition, a feat that foreshadowed his role in the 2007 Rugby World Cup win for South Africa.

The dangerous winger would play a key role in that 2007 World Cup triumph and the 2009 British & Irish Lions series win. Over the next few years, he would establish himself as a Springbok mainstay, ultimately representing South Africa in 70 Tests.

Domestically, Pietersen remained a mainstay for the Sharks, helping them secure two Currie Cup titles. He also ventured abroad for stints with the Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan and Leicester Tigers in England before returning to his South African roots with the Sharks, where he eventually hung up his boots.

Pietersen retired from professional rugby in 2021, leaving behind a special legacy as one of the greatest Springbok wings of all time.

Where is former Springbok star JP Pietersen now?

Still only 37 years old, Pietersen has since been involved in a junior role coaching at the Sharks and served as an assistant in the 2022 Currie Cup.

Passionate about guiding the next generation of young talent, he also coached the union’s U20 team to the national cup title last year. On that occasion, Pietersen’s Sharks U20 side beat the Bulls 32-29 in the final at Kings Park SA U20 Cup.

“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,” he said as he began the transition into coaching. “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.”

Last year Pietersen also shared how he had taken up a “new chapter” through a “learning” programme at the Harvard Business School.

“I’ve met the most inspiring people this week in Boston and Im so excited for this new journey of learning.” he said on social media.

“Grateful for this incredible opportunity,” he added.

Records/Honours:

  • SA Young Player of the Year nominee, 2005 & 2006
  • Top try-scorer in the Super 14, 2007
  • Member of the World Cup-winning Springbok squad, 2007
  • Currie Cup winner with the Sharks, 2008
  • British & Irish Lions series winner, 2009
  • Tri-Nations winner, 2009