Pietersen earned his first call-up to the Springbok squad at the tender age of 20 against Australia in the Tri-Nations Test in Johannesburg on September 9, 2006, where he started in the No 15 jersey. He subsequently established himself as a winger due to his sheer pace, unpredictability and nose for the try line.
At only 23, Pietersen already has World Cup, British & Irish Lions series and Tri-Nations winners’ medals in his personal collection. He showed his class in the 2007 World Cup where he scored four tries which included a brace in the Boks’ 36-0 thumping of England in the pool stages.
South Africa strolled into the knockout stages and were earmarked to ease past Fiji in their quarter-final clash in Marseille. However, with two players in the sin bin, the Islanders scored two quick tries to level the scores at 20-all.
The Boks pulled in front through a Percy Montgomery penalty before towering lock Ifereimi Rawaqa crossed the try line in the corner. Pietersen, however, managed to turn Rawaqa in the tackle and forced him to lose control of the ball before he could dot it down for the crucial score.
It proved to be the turning point of the match as the Boks went on to secure a 37-20 victory and famously went on to clinch the Webb Ellis Trophy. Pietersen also scored a memorable set piece try in the second Test of the 2009 British & Irish Lions series in Pretoria when he went through untouched to help South Africa record a series sealing 28-25 win.
Records/Honours:SA Young Player of the Year nominee, 2005 & 2006;Top try-scorer in the Super 14, 2007;Member of the World Cup winning Springbok squad, 2007;Currie Cup winner with the Sharks, 2008;British & Irish Lions series winner, 2009;Tri-Nations winner, 2009