Rugby

Danie Gerber: Joost a true legend

2017-02-09 08:29

Cape Town - Legendary former Springbok centre Danie Gerber has paid his respects to Joost van der Westhuizen, who passed away on Monday.

Van der Westhuizen, a former Springbok scrumhalf, died at the age of 45 on Monday after losing a long battle with motor neuron disease.

Gerber posted on his official Facebook page that Van der Westhuizen was a “true legend of the game”.

Gerber and Van der Westhuizen will both go down as legends of the game, and were honoured for their achievements when they were inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2015.

Due to South Africa’s sporting isolation during Apartheid, Gerber’s international career was limited to 24 Tests for the Boks between 1980 and 1992.

However, he made enough of an impact for many pundits to regard him as one of the most gifted centres ever to play international rugby.

He was a powerful runner with ball in hand and had a side-step and swerve not often seen in the modern game. It helped him to an impressive 19 tries in 24 Tests for his country.

At domestic level, Gerber played 115 games for Eastern Province, but also had stints with Western Province (40) and Free State (24).

Van der Westhuizen, a former Springbok and Blue Bulls captain, played 89 Tests between 1993 and 2003.

He scored a then-Springbok record 38 tries and is widely regarded as one of the game’s finest-ever scrumhalves.

His funeral will take place at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Friday (12:30).

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