Cape Town - The Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) has issued a statement mourning the passing of Springbok legend, Joost van der Westhuizen.
Van der Westhuizen passed away at his home after a long battle with motor neuron disease, having first been diagnosed with the illness in 2011.
WPRFU called Van der Westhuizen an "inspiration to a generation of rugby players in South Africa."
The full statement read:
"The Western Province Rugby Football Union mourns the passing of Springbok legend Joost van der Westhuizen.
The 89-Test scrumhalf served his country with passion and was an inspiration to a generation of rugby players in South Africa.
The thoughts of the WPRFU are with his two children, Jordan and Kylie, as well as the rest of the Van der Westhuizen family at this difficult time.
After being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a form of motor neuron disease, Van der Westhuizen showed characteristic fighting spirit to hold off the debilitating illness.
A veteran of three Rugby World Cups, Van der Westhuizen scored 38 tries in his illustrious Springbok career and will go down as one of the greatest scrumhalves of all time.
He will long be remembered for his memorable performances at Newlands and around the world.
Rest in peace, Joost."