DHL Stormers legend: Joe Pietersen

PUBLISHED: February 12, 2024

Joe Pietersen enjoyed two successful stints in Cape Town with the DHL Stormers during his career.

Pietersen stands out as a player defined by versatility, courage and total dedication to the cause.

Between his DHL Western Province debut in 2004 and 2010 – and a subsequent return to Cape Town in 2012 for two seasons – Pietersen became a household name at Newlands.

Easily recognisable by his mop of flash blonde hair, Pietersen was a utility back with an unflinchingly accurate boot, equally adept at flyhalf, fullback and wing.

He shared the changeroom with legends such as Schalk Burger, Jean de Villiers, Jaque Fourie, Bryan Habana, Duane Vermeulen and Andries Bekker, yet earned his own unique place in the franchise’s history.

Pietersen’s time with the DHL Stormers wasn’t just about playing multiple positions. During the team’s revival under Rassie Erasmus between 2008 and 2011, the backline dynamo contributed to the development of a style built on the pillars of efficient defence and lethal counter-attacking, and played a crucial part in the Capetonians’ journey to the 2010 Super Rugby Final.

Despite his season being cut short by a hip injury, Pietersen scored 86 points in 2010 as the DHL Stormers went on to sweep the five New Zealand teams, including a 33-0 victory over the Highlanders.

During his two stints in Cape Town, interrupted only by a season in France with Biarritz, Pietersen made a combined 115 appearances in Super Rugby (50) and the Currie Cup (65).

His journey then took him across the rugby globe – from the French Top 14 to the Toyota Cheetahs, the Hollywoodbets Sharks, and ultimately to Major League Rugby where he turned out for the San Diego Legion.

Pietersen is just as inspirational beyond the rugby field where he works tirelessly to promote nature conservation, having founded the Nkombe Rhino NPC, an anti-poaching unit.

Joe Pietersen by the numbers:

50 – The number of matches he played for the DHL
Stormers across two stints (2006-2010 and 2012-2013)

9 – The number of tries he scored for the DHL Stormers

34 – The number of conversions he kicked for the DHL

87 – The number of penalty goals he kicked for the DHL