Euronews is no longer accessible on Internet Explorer. This browser is not updated by Microsoft and does not support the last technical evolutions. We encourage you to use another browser, such as Edge, Safari, Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

South Africa mourns sad death of Joost van der Westhuizen

South Africa mourns sad death of Joost van der Westhuizen
Euronews logo
Text size Aa Aa

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.