Striving for perfection

JP Pietersen was in outstanding form for the Sharks and Springboks before getting injured, but he doesn’t believe he’s reached his peak.

A thumb injury obtained in the Super Rugby final ruled him out of the majority of the Boks’ Rugby Championship campaign. He’d had a brilliant series against England and sizzled in Super Rugby with his block-busting breaks, aggressive smother-tackling and timely tries.

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‘It had been an amazing year for me before the thumb injury; I could not have asked for better form,’ he says. ‘Everything was falling into place. My body was feeling amazing and I had learned a lot this season, too.’

Pietersen says he has matured since the 2007 World Cup and now appreciates the value of experience.

‘Look, I’m only 26, I’m hardly saying I know it all, but I’ve been around since I was 19 and while I know that I made mistakes in the past that I won’t repeat in the future, I also like to think that I’m not the complete product. I feel there’s a lot more to come from JP Pietersen. I can get better, I know I can.’

Also in the NEW-LOOK issue:

Super Rugby review: We rate all five South African franchises

– The Springboks were spoiled by the brilliance of Fourie du Preez at scrumhalf. Now, with Du Preez having moved on, Heyneke Meyer is searching for his perfect ‘general’

Dan Carter is refreshed, reinvigorated and refocused as he eyes new goals in the game

Quade Cooper would rather be great than loved

Juan Martin Fernández Lobbe has embraced the challenge of captaining Argentina in their debut Rugby Championship season

– A resurgent Zimbabwe hope to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1991

– The European Cup could go up in smoke if English and French clubs withdraw from the tournament

– The Sharks were rewarded for their positive approach to the game during this year’s Super Rugby tournament

– Player movement is a reality in the professional era but contrary to perception Western Province have managed to retain the majority of their stars, as manager director Rob Wagner explains

– The Lions had a disastrous Super Rugby campaign, on and off the field. SA Rugby magazine reveals how things fell apart

– The Blue Bulls dominated the U18 Craven Week in Port Elizabeth

– Joost van der Westhuizen has refused to give up hope after being diagnosed with an incurable disease

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