Feb 06, 2017
Club Statement: Joost van der Westhuizen
Saracens would like to pass on their sincere condolences to the family and friends of Springbok legend Joost van der Westhuizen after news of his passing earlier today.
The South Africa and Blue Bulls legend sadly passed away at the age of 45 after a battle with motor neurone disease, and is widely considered as one of the best scrum-halves to have ever played the game. He won 89 caps for his beloved South Africa from 1993-2003, and was a key member of the World Cup winning side of 1995 alongside former Saracens skipper and current board member Francois Pienaar, then-coach Morne Du Plessis and former Technical Director, Brendan Venter.
Van der Westuizen’s inspirational charity work whilst battling the debilitating condition saw him visit Allianz Park in 2014 when the north Londoners faced South African outfit Western Province. The home of Saracens also hosted a Charity clash for the Joost9 Foundation.
Saracens Chairman, Nigel Wray: “Our thoughts are with Joost’s family and friends, Springbok Rugby and the whole South African rugby community at such a difficult time. Joost van der Westhuizen was an iconic player, one of the best of his generation and was of rugby’s first global stars. He was a fierce competitor and reached the pinnacle of our game in that wonderful Springbok side in 1995 and will rightly be remembered as a star of the sport. The grace and dignity with which he lived his life with his condition and the way he campaigned for the Joost9 Foundation was as inspiring as any of his deeds on the rugby pitch. He’ll be sorely missed.”