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JP Pietersen: 'We need to focus on accuracy'

We spoke to JP Pietersen, ambassador for about the November Internationals series.

How have you settled into life in Leicester?

Yes settled in well here in Market Harborough. It's a lovely village between Leicester and London. The club has been great and really helpful with the transition; we are enjoying it here and have had a nice warm welcome from the team.

Have you become a Leicester City Football supporter?

Haha I am a Man United supporter through and through, but Leicester is my new home so have to support the local club - only if they play against someone other than Man United!

What do you do when you aren’t training or playing?

Back home I enjoyed playing some golf but it's a bit chilly already so the clubs are in the garage and I haven't been out for a spin yet.

How does the Aviva Premiership compare to Super Rugby?

The Aviva Premiership is not as fast as super rugby but its very close in terms of the physicality. Its very tough week in and week out and definitely on par as the games are all tough and very competitive.

Have you had to adapt your game to English conditions and style of Rugby? No not really, we have been spoilt with good weather this far, so it hasn't been to bad, I've always enjoyed playing in the wet and rainy conditions of the autumn internationals so don't think I will need to adapt as I'm used to it.

Is it hard chopping and changing between competitions? Premiership one week, European Cup the next, International Rugby after that?

No it's not really difficult, it's good for a player to see where he stands in terms of the European Cup as it's similar to test level. It's a good challenge for a player to adapt to all the different styles and demands of rugby each competition has to offer and I've enjoyed it so far.

Which of the England players at Leicester have you got to know the best this season?

Ben Youngs has been great in welcoming me to the club and so has Dan Cole. We won't be friends on the field but after the game it's all smiles and we will see who has bragging rights when we all go back to the Tigers.

Has there been much talk or banter ahead of the England v South Africa match?

Yes there is always loads of banter and chat when players in the same team represent different countries. I've tried to get the Tigers boys to support the Boks but they are England supporters through and through so I'm on my own unfortunately.

How well prepared will the Springboks be when they arrive at Twickenham?

The week has been good and preparation has gone really well, the atmosphere in the camp is positive and we are all looking forward to Saturday.

What are the key areas for improvement for the Springboks on the back of the Rugby Championship?

We need to improve on our kicking game in all areas and make a concerted effort to focus on accuracy. We need to be better under the high ball and be patient on attack. What hurt us the most in the Rugby Championship was giving ball away and making silly turnovers.

England hasn’t beaten the Springboks since 2006, but they are unbeaten so far under Eddie Jones. Which of those records will be broken next week?!

I have a lot of respect for England and Eddie as a coach as he coached me in the 2007 World Cup, but I most definitely hope we keep our record intact.

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5,356 caps
11 Nov 12:37
1,167 cap
With respect JP. Not as much we but you yourself.
15 Nov 14:01
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