The Golden Lions Rugby Union is extremely shocked and saddened by the passing of former Springbok scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen due to his long illness. Van der Westhuizen was a legend of the game and loved by his many fans both here and around the world.
Rudolf Straeuli, CEO, paid tribute, saying: “The thoughts of the entire country are with his family. He was a game changer whenever he stepped onto the field. On a personal level I played and coached with Joost and it is a huge loss. His family and close friends are in our thoughts, ” he said.
Johan Ackermann, coach of the Emirates Lions, also conveyed his condolences. “I played with Joost from under 20 to Springbok level and will always treasure the moments we shared. He was always an inspiration and fighter on and off the field and one of the best players I ever played with or against. Our prayers are with the family.”
The president of the GLRU, Kevin de Klerk, added: “It is always sad when the rugby world loses a former player. In this case, even more so, as Joost was a special player who was such a big part of the 1995 World Cup euphoria. He will stay on in our hearts forever.”