Pietersen fully committed to the Sharks and Springboks
Injured Sharks wing JP Pietersen has become the latest Springbok to take up a Japanese playing contract.
Pietersen, who has been sidelined with an ankle injury, will move to Japan after the conclusion of the Super Rugby season later this year.
The Sharks said in a brief statement on their website that he will use the latter part of this year and next year to "enjoy a new adventure".
However, despite the sabbatical he will remain available for the Sharks during the current Super Rugby campaign and return for the start of the next season.
He will also remain available for Springbok selection in June and November, although he is expected to miss the Rugby Championship - in August, September and October.
He also won't be available to the Sharks during the Currie Cup season, which is generally the case due to his Springbok commitments.
Speaking to the Sharks website Pietersen said remained "fully committed" to the Sharks and Springboks and that his 2013 and 2014 Japanese commitments would not impact on his Super Rugby and Springbok duties.