Johannesburg - Former Springbok scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen was an inspiration and a tough customer to play against, his former team-mate Hennie le Roux said.
“Joost had such great character. His ability to inspire everyone around him, on and off the field, was truly amazing,” Le Roux told Sport24 on Monday afternoon.
Le Roux, who played centre for the Springboks during the 1995 Rugby World Cup, said the legendary scrumhalf set an example to everyone.
“He was a legend and gentleman of the game. He had everything that was required of a Springbok,” Le Roux said.
He said Van der Westhuizen was loyal and committed to his team.
Van der Westhuizen passed away at his home on Monday afternoon.
Van der Westhuizen was diagnosed as suffering from MND early in 2011. Despite fighting this debilitating disease, he was actively involved in charity work across South Africa and outside our borders for fellow sufferers up until his death.
Recalling their playing days for the Springboks, Le Roux described one of the tries Van der Westhuizen scored as one of his most remarkable memories.
“The fondest memory I have of Joost was the try he scored from a lineout move against England at Twickenham. It was brilliant,” Le Roux said.
Le Roux said he would always have massive respect for Joost and what he did for the sport.