Rugby: Former South African Captain Joost van der Westhuizen Dies at 45

Source: Wales Online

Former South African captain Joost van der Westhuizen has died at the age of 45 from motor neurone disease on Monday.

Source: Wales Online

Van der Westhuizen played 89 international Tests between 1993 and 2003, scoring 38 tries. He also led the South African team as captain for four years, including a third-place finish at the 1999 Rugby World Cup. One of the main highlights in his career was his performance in the 1995 Rugby World Cup, which pushed the team to defeat All Blacks 15-12 and win the cup.

“Joost will be remembered as one of the greatest Springboks – not only of his generation, but of all time,” said South Africa Rugby president Mark Alexander. “As a player, he lifted the Rugby World Cup, Tri-Nations and Currie Cup while establishing himself as one of the best scrumhalves world rugby has ever seen.”

Wales interim coach and fellow former scrum-half Rob Howley said, “He was a world-class nine who was respected throughout the rugby world. I have been fortunate enough to play against him and enjoy his company off the pitch and it is tragic he has passed so young.”