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Joost van der Westhuizen

South African rugby union player

Died when: 45 years 352 days (551 months)
Star Sign: Aquarius

 

Joost van der Westhuizen

Joost Heystek van der Westhuizen (20 February 1971 – 6 February 2017) was a South African professional rugby union player who made 89 appearances in test matches for the national team, scoring 38 tries.

He mostly played as a scrum-half and participated in three Rugby World Cups, most notably in the 1995 tournament, which was won by South Africa.

He is widely regarded by South Africans as the greatest scrumhalf of all time.He captained the national side on ten occasions and was part of the team that won South Africa's first Tri-Nations title in 1998.

Domestically he played for the provincial side the Blue Bulls from 1993 to 2003, with whom he won two domestic Currie Cup trophies in 1998 and 2002, and from 1996 until his retirement in 2003 played Super 12 rugby for Northern Transvaal (later renamed the Bulls).

He was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame in 2007 and later into the World Rugby Hall of Fame.

In 2011, it was announced that van der Westhuizen had motor neurone disease.He eventually became confined to a wheelchair and experienced speech problems, yet still raised awareness of the disease through his charity, the J9 Foundation.


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