Rugby

BREAKING: Joost van der Westhuizen dies

2017-02-07 13:30
Joost van der Westhuizen (File)

Johannesburg - Former Springbok scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen died on Monday after losing his battle with motor neuron disease.

He was 45.

Van der Westhuizen was rushed to hospital in a critical condition on Saturday, his J9 Foundation confirmed.

Despite stabilising and showing signs of acknowledging those around him, Van der Westhuizen passed away on Monday afternoon.

Blue Bulls CEO Barend van Graan confirmed Van der Westhuizen's passing and expressed his condolences to his children, family and friends.

"If there's one thing we can learn from Joost it was his passion for life. That we will never forget."

Van der Westhuizen, who was diagnosed with the illness 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.

TOP 9 MUST READ JOOST VAN DER WESTHUIZEN REACTION ARTICLES:

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Joost 'fought illness like he played rugby' - Kobus Wiese

Heyneke Meyer remembers 'warrior, fighter' Joost

Joel Stransky thanks Joost for the memories

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TRIBUTE: Joost ... very steeliest of Springboks

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