Gavin Rich - SuperSport
Johannesburg - It seems the Sharks brains-trust were happy with the way JP Pietersen adjusted to outside centre in his first outing there in a trial match in Durban at the weekend.
The series of trials games was cut short by a power failure, but not before Pietersen had impressed in the No13 jersey, prompting some optimism from coach John Plumtree on the Springbok wing’s chances of successfully making the switch.
“It’s early days with this idea of changing JP to a centre, and we will be cautious, but the main thing is that he is excited about it,” Plumtree said.
“I thought he combined really well with Meyer Bosman. “If this move does come to pass (JP at 13), it will be exciting not just for the Sharks but potentially for the Springboks now that there is a big hole caused by Jaque Fourie’s move to Japan.”
If Pietersen moves to centre there will be less of a selection log-jam at wing, where Springbok Sevens star from last year, Sibusiso Sithole, showed a lot of potential in his first Currie Cup season and joins Springbok wings Odwa Ndungane and Lwazi Mvovo in the mix.
Plumtree seems pleased with the additional depth that will be available at lock now that Steven Sykes is coming back. Youngsters Anton Bresler and Jandre Marais reportedly had good trial matches.
The Sharks squad will be trimmed to 28 players on Monday for Friday’s first pre-season friendly against the Boland Cavaliers at Mr Price Kings Park. The Sharks complete their preparations for the Super Rugby season a week later against the Kings in Port Elizabeth.