Pietersen reflects on career beyond his 'wildest dreams'
REACTION: Retired Springboks wing Jon-Paul Pietersen has said he had a career beyond his “wildest dreams”.
The 34-year-old, who announced the decision to go from player to coach on Friday, shared an Instagram post reflecting on his 16-year career, as another member of South Africa’s 2007 World Cup-winning team bows out.
Pietersen started on the right wing in the 2007 Final against England after making his Test debut in 2006.
He won 70 caps in his Springboks career, scoring 24 tries and competing in three World Cups before making his final appearance in 2016.
He said in his post how thankful he is to have played in “some diverse rugby communities” in a domestic career which was bookended by stints with the Sharks and saw him play in England with Leicester Tigers, France with Toulon and Japan with Panasonic Wild Knights.
His Instagram post was also accompanied by pictures of his time with every team he represented across his career.
He wrote: “I just want to firstly thank God for blessing me with such a long career that has unfolded beyond my wildest dreams. Rugby has changed my life for the better and I will be forever grateful for what this game has done for me.
“It will take a while for all of this to sink in, but I’m so fortunate to have been able to represent my country and be able to play for some top clubs around the world, as well as having a decade long career at the Sharks which feels like home.
“A big thank you to all the staff members and fans at all the teams I’ve been involved in over the years.
“Thank you to the coaches, managers, medical staff and the players I’ve met along the way that I’ve made lifelong friendships with. You have all shaped me into the man I am today and have played an important part in my journey along the way.
“Words can’t describe how thankful I am to have been a part of some diverse rugby communities across the world that have become like family to me.”
View this post on Instagram