Springbok wing JP Pietersen says he wants the No 15 jersey as rumours circulate about who will play fullback when the British and Irish Lions meet the Springboks in Durban on June 20.
JJ Harmse reports for sport24 - In the past couple of weeks, the Bok management team have refused to divulge who will play in the No 15 position but Pietersen will be only too happy to take on the task.
The versatile Sharks star believes he will have no problems, should he be selected as a fullback. “I made my debut there for the Sharks and the Springboks. My last Test as a fullback was in 2007 against the All Blacks in Christchurch.”
“It is not my decision where I play, but if the coach puts me there, I would love to play the position. I have the confidence to play fullback or wing.”
Pietersen in his debut Test against the Wallabies in 2006, played fullback but the 23-year-old player pointed out that he had since then gained a lot of experience. “I am definitely a more mature player now.”
He believes his kicking game has especially improved. “It had to get better,” he laughed.
“Remember, I have been working for four years on my kicking and it is definitely better than in the beginning of my rugby career. It will definitely not be a problem for me.”
Pietersen, over the years, has cemented his place in the Bok team as a right wing, where he scored most of his 10 Test tries.
He expressed surprise that the British and Irish Lions used the up and under defence methods.
“I was surprised to see them using that style. We will therefore have to cut them on the inside and use things like short kicks. It will pay off to go and see how other teams played against us when we used the same technique.”
Pietersen said he and his team-mates had taken note of how the visitors had played especially along the back.
“The Lions were polished and Jamie Roberts and the rest were very impressive.”
Pietersen has only been on a losing side six times in his career – three times in Australia and three times against New Zealand. Depending on where he is chosen for the Springboks, this statistic may remain unchanged.Tweet