Find Us

South Africa mourns sad death of Joost van der Westhuizen

South Africa mourns sad death of Joost van der Westhuizen
By Robert Hackwill
Published on
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

Joost van der Westhuizen, South Africa's scrum half at the 1995 World Cup, has died aged 45 from motor neurone disease.


The former captain of the South African rugby team and World Cup winner, scrum half Joost van der Westhuizen, has died after a long battle with motor neurone disease. He was 45.

In 1995 New Zealand came to South Africa the hot favourites to win the cup, and South Africa, just back into international sport after a boycott, were little-fancied.

New Zealand had a player, Jonah Lomu, who was terrifying teams all over world, and Westhuizen was given the unenviable job in the final of keeping Lomu quiet. He did, and South Africa triumphed.

He played a then-record 89 times for his country, and scored 38 tries, a record that also stood until 2011.

He was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2011, and in recent years was confined to a wheelchair. He was inducted to the World Rugby Hall of fame in 2014.

Share this articleComments

You might also like

Rugby World Cup: Fiji beat Australia for the first time in 69 years

Springboks go with Kolbe, Arendse on wings to start Rugby World Cup defence vs. Scotland

Six Nations: Ireland closer to Grand Slam after thrashing Scotland