Johannesburg - Former Springbok team-mate Mark Andrews says Joost van der Westhuizen was a warrior and someone who never gave up.
Andrews told Sport24 on Monday that Van der Westhuizen had the capacity to fight through what must have been one of the most challenging and difficult illnesses, adding that he will always remember that about him.
“After being admitted to hospital on Friday and doctors told him he won’t make it, Joost fought for three days straight. That says a lot about his character. He is a fighter,” Andrews said.
Andrews, who was part of the 1995 Rugby World Cup winning team with Van der Westhuizen, described him as someone who had a huge desire and passion for the sport.
“Joost never allowed anyone to dominate him, whether it was the All Blacks or Jonah Lomu, he never backed down from anyone or anything,” Andrews said.
Van der Westhuizen died at his home surrounded his loved ones on Monday afternoon.
The 45-year-old lost his battle to motor neuron disease, having first been diagnosed with the illness in 2011.
Van der Westhuizen's health had taken a turn for the worse over the weekend when he was rushed to hospital.
The former Springbok captain 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.