Joost van der Westhuizen, South Africa rugby great, dies aged 45

Joost van der Westhuizen

On the wall of Joost van der Westhuizen's house in Johannesburg, next to Springboks jerseys from the three World Cups he played in, is a small picture with the following message.

England's Australian coach Eddie Jones said van der Westhuizen was an exceptional player and his loss would be felt greatly in South Africa.

He won 89 caps for the Springboks between 1993 and 2003, and scored 38 tries.

Singer and TV presenter Amor and Joost, who share 13-year-old Jordan and 11-year-old Kylie, Wednesday in 2003. Throughout the weekend he showed signs of stabilising and knew those around him.

He has done everything he can with his J9 foundation to raise awareness of the bad disease that has finally put paid to a wonderful life.

Anyone who grew up watching rugby in the 1990s would tell you how fantastic and daring a player Joost van der Westhuizen was.

TRT World's Lance Santos brings more. Both are now gone within 15 months of each other.




Van der Westhuizen was diagnosed with the debilitating motor neurone disease in 2011.

Amor shared a heartfelt tribute to the former Springbok who died on Monday afternoon after a lengthy battle with motor neuron disease.

"Joost just had a quiet determination about him".

"What I did went against all my principles - my life was controlled by my mind and I had to make my mistakes to realise what life is all about", he said.

"But that didn't happen over a continuous period of 80 minutes, all of a sudden, through a 20-minute period, he could change the game on his own". You were and still are my first love.

Former Springbok Toks van der Linde and TV presenter said on his Facebook page of his close friend: "In your prayers please think of the legend tonight".

His contemporary, English superboot Jonny Wilkinson paid tribute, describing van der Westhuizen as "a guy I feared as an opponent, respected hugely as a player and will miss deeply as a very courageous human being". "I always felt, when he was on the field, even if we were up by 20 points".

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