Rugby World Cup 2011

JP faces late fitness test

2011-10-05 08:08
JP Pietersen (File)

Wellington - Wing JP Pietersen faces a late fitness test on Thursday before being confirmed in South Africa's starting line-up for their Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Australia.

Pietersen is likely to be included in the line-up which will be named by coach Peter de Villiers on Wednesday night SA time (20:00) but it won't be until later in the day that he has the chance to confirm his fitness for Sunday's match. He has a bruised tendon behind one knee.

He told reporters "I feel confident but I didn't run yet. I'd feel more confident if I'd had a full running session. You don't want to play at 80 percent of your ability, that's why I'm doing my fitness test tomorrow. If I feel comfortable I'll tell the coach but if I don't feel comfortable I'll probably have to pull out."

If Pietersen lines up for the Springboks it will likely be opposite Wallabies wing Digby Ioane, who is due to return after missing three pool matches with a broken thumb.

"You always want to match yourself against the best players and he's proven himself as one of the best wingers this year," Pietersen said. "I played against him during the Tri-Nations and that was a nice challenge for me.

"He's been amazing from them. In all their matches he's the one who's been the game-breaker and put them on the front foot."


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