Planet Rugby

Century mark for Pietersen

20th March 2014 06:47

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Sharks wing JP Pietersen stretching off

100 up: JP Pietersen

Springbok wing JP Pietersen will make his 100th Super Rugby appearance for the Sharks when they take on the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Pietersen lines up alongside SP Marais and Lwazi Mvovo in the back-three while S'bura Sithole and Frans Steyn continue their centre partnership.

It is an unchanged starting XV from head coach Jake White but there are tweaks on the bench as Tim Swiel and Andre Esterhuizen come in.

"This is a huge game, it's at Loftus and the Bulls have an unbelievable record at that stadium and they've won the championship three times, so we're under no illusions that this isn't going to be a tough away fixture for us. It's a derby game as well and we know it's going to be big," said White.

He added on Pietersen's century: "It is a big achievement for a guy that plays 100 times for his franchise. I have no doubt that it's not only what he brings on the field, but also what he brings to the rest of the group off the field. I'm sure it will be a special occasion for him.

"I have no doubt JP, being as popular a player as he is to this group, a lot of the players will want to do well for him as well."

Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 S'bura Sithole, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (c), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Tera Mtembu, 21 Charl McLeod, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Andre Esterhuizen.

Date: Saturday, March 22
Venue: Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria
Kick-off: 19.10 local (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Craig Joubert (South Africa), Jaco van Heerden (South Africa)
Television match official: Deon van Blommenstein (South Africa)

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