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06th Feb 2017

Brian O’Driscoll leads tributes for Springbok legend Joost van der Westhuizen

Patrick McCarry

Anyone who grew up watching rugby in the 1990s would tell you how fantastic and daring a player Joost van der Westhuizen was.

Typing ‘was’ seems strange but that is the sad reality we have been left with after news broke, this afternoon, of the Springbok legend’s passing.

Van der Westhuizen, a World Cup winner in 1995, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2011 and bravely battled it while also raising awareness of, and funds to fight, the debilitating. South Africa Rugby president Mark Alexander commented:

“Joost will be remembered as one of the greatest Springboks – not only of his generation, but of all time.

“He also became an inspiration and hero to many fellow sufferers of this terrible disease as well as to those unaffected. We all marvelled at his bravery, his fortitude and his uncomplaining acceptance of this terrible burden.”

Brian O’Driscoll, who played against the 89-times capped scrum-half in November 2000, led the tributes to a true legend of the game.