Rugby

AB wishes 'childhood hero' Joost well

2017-02-06 10:58
Joost van der Westhuizen (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Proteas skipper AB de Villiers wished his childhood hero Joost van der Westhuizen well after the Proteas defeated Sri Lanka in the third ODI at the Wanderers on Saturday.

This was after former Springbok scrumhalf was rushed to hospital on Saturday and was reported to be in a critical condition.

"I'm lucky enough to have met him a few times; he was definitely one of my heroes growing up," De Villiers told reporters in Johannesburg.

"He was an incredible talent when he was playing on the field."

According to latest reports, Van der Westhuizen remains in hospital, but has shown signs of improvement, according to a statement released by his J9 Foundation.

"Yeah, the situation he is in is obviously sad," said the Proteas skipper.

"I just want to wish him and his family and close friends well through this tough time.

"He was just a special talent and we all got good memories about him and being an incredible sportsman for South Africa for many years."

Van der Westhuizen, 45, who has been fighting motor neuron disease since 2011, played 89 Tests for the Springboks 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.

 

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