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'Rest Easy, Blue Eyes': Joost Van Der Westhuizen, Rugby Legend, Has Passed Away

'Rest Easy, Blue Eyes': Joost Van Der Westhuizen, Rugby Legend, Has Passed Away
By Gavan Casey Updated
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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.

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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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSFSBwITH_s

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.

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The Springbok and rugby legend is survived by his wife, his son, and his daughter.

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