Pietersen says his position is uncertain
Sharks wing JP Pietersen insists it is too early to say whether his early season exploits at centre will be successful, but is confident he can covert to the position on a more permanent basis.
The 25-year-old was placed in midfield by the Durban franchise during an internal trials match two weeks ago and also impressed in that position in a pre-season warm-up match against Boland last week.
Pietersen, who played at centre through his entire school career, has again been named at outside centre for their final friendly against the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
“We haven’t made any final decisions as to where the coach is going to play me in Super Rugby,” Pietersen said on Wednesday.
“But I’m keen on it and I’m confident I can play there, although I’m not getting ahead of myself.
“I’ve played there before at a different level, so I’m comfortable moving there again.” Pietersen made his Springbok debut at full-back and has since gone on to earn 42 caps, mostly from the wing.
He was unsure whether he would play at centre under new national coach Heyneke Meyer.
“I think playing there for the Springboks is too early to say,” he said.
“I have no idea whether Plum [Sharks coach John Plumtree] and Heyneke have spoken about it.
“I guess if I do it well for the Sharks first, then what happens at national team level will take off itself.
“I’ll take it game-by-game. It’s a huge challenge for me, but I’m keen to work on it.” Pietersen said preparations for the new season were well on track ahead of the Sharks’ opening Super Rugby encounter against the Bulls in Pretoria next week.
“The Bulls were very accurate against the Cheetahs in their warm-up game over the weekend, so we’ll have to watch out for them,” he said.
“They have a lot of young guys, who all looked hungry for success.
“The Cheetahs may not have beaten them in that game, but we saw them do excellently against the Stormers in Cape Town, so I think it’s going to be really tough.”