The Sharks have confirmed that wing JP Pietersen will leave South Africa and play in Japan at the end of the Super Rugby season.
The Sharks says that Pietersen will still be available to play Super Rugby until the end of the 2013 Super Rugby season.
After the Sharks campaign in Super Rugby Pietersen will leave for Japan and play for an un-named Japanese team before returning for the start of the next Super Rugby campaign.
Pietersen's sabbatical means that he will not be available for the Sharks Currie Cup campaign.
The Springbok winger says that he remains 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.
Pietersen is currently on the sidelines suffering from an ankle injury.