Rugby great Joost van der Westhuizen has died aged 45 after a six-year battle with illness.
The Springbok legend scored 38 tries in 89 internationals during a career which saw him play in three Rugby World Cups.
Renowned by most as the first 'modern nine', Van der Westhuizen starred in the South African side which won the 1995 World Cup on home soil, and also won a Tri Nations with his country in 1998, as well as two Currie Cups with his beloved Blue Bulls.
Standing at six-foot-two, Van der Westhuizen was famed for his ferocious physicality in defence, making a huge number of last-ditch, try-saving tackles throughout his career - atypical of scrum-halves from his era. He famously chopped down a fellow great in Jonah Lomu during the 1995 Rugby World Cup final; Lomu, who would visit his great friend Van Der Westhuizen as part of a 2015 documentary, never scored a try against South Africa.
In 2011, Van der Westhuizen announced that he had Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a form of motor neurone disease. He actively campaigned for issues relating to MND through his J9 Foundation. He died on Monday morning after being admitted to hospital on February 4th.
As you might imagine, tributes for the great man from the world of rugby have been flooding in.
RIP Joost van der Westhuizen, 1971-2017. Condolences to the family and friends of a true Springbok hero. pic.twitter.com/ZZ7IBEBcyE
— Springboks (@Springboks) February 6, 2017
RIP Joost van der Westhuizen. An incredible player and fighter to the end. The first of the new age 9's.
— Brian O'Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) February 6, 2017
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) February 6, 2017
Joost van der Westhuizen. Best scrum half ever to play the game. Thankful he's no longer suffering. But gutted.
— Tom Dabinett (@tomdabs) February 6, 2017
— Jon Cardinelli (@jon_cardinelli) February 6, 2017
— jimmy gopperth (@jimmygopps) February 6, 2017
— Mike Tindall (@miketindall13) February 6, 2017
A great friend has left us with an incredible legacy in rugby. Joost inspired on and off the field. Rest easy blue eyes.... #j9foundation
— Matt Dawson (@matt9dawson) February 6, 2017
This is so sad. I played against the great man and he was outstanding. RIP after your long struggle my friend. https://t.co/mCsRSSTH0G
— Brian Moore (@brianmoore666) February 6, 2017
— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) February 6, 2017
The Springbok and rugby legend is survived by his wife, his son, and his daughter.