Smit offers support to Joost
Wellington - Springbok captain John Smit has come out in support of Joost van der Westhuizen after the former halfback was given two-to-five years to live.
Van der Westhuizen, a Rugby World Cup winner and 89-Test Springbok veteran, was recently confirmed as suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, an incurable motor neuron disease, by an expert in the United States.
According to the Dominion Post website, Smit told reporters in Wellington that the Springboks would do whatever they could to help Van der Westhuizen.
"It's tragic for a guy of his stature. I've been in touch with Joost quite a bit and it's sad to think about what he was and what he's going to be,” said Smit.
"I spoke to him some weeks ago and you can see the deterioration already. It's traumatic for an individual like that, a young father. We'll do whatever we can when we get back to support him."
Van der Westhuizen won the 1995 World Cup in South Africa and captained the Springboks in the 1999 tournament in Wales.