Pietersen setback for Leicester

Date published: December 28 2016

Leicester are set to be without JP Pietersen until February after the South Africa wing underwent surgery.

Pietersen, 30, moved to Welford Road this season and has so far made seven appearances for the club, scoring on his debut against Gloucester.

The Test wing is one of a number of backline injuries currently hindering Leicester, with Matt Toomua, Mathew Tait, Matt Smith and Telusa Veainu all sidelined.

"To have them all out at the same time means there is a bit of firepower missing from our backline," Leicester boss Richard Cockerill told the Leicester Mercury.

Leicester were well beaten by Exeter 31-10 back on Christmas Eve, dropping the Tigers out of the top four.

Next up is the visit of Premiership and European champions Saracens on New Year's Day, with Cockerill calling on his players to believe in their abilities.

Cockerill added: "Physically we have to be spot on. Their forward pack is a good one and we are looking forward to the challenge of making sure we get a good result.

"We have good players here and we have to make sure that we don't forget that. If we play as well as we can then we will be in the mix with Saracens."