Vodacom Bulls mourn the passing of Joost van der Westhuizen

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The Vodacom Bulls are saddened to learn of the passing of former Springbok and Vodacom Bulls stalwart Joost van der Westhuizen after a courageous six year fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the most severe form of motor neuron disease. He was 45 years old.

Van der Westhuizen changed the way scrumhalves played the game with his sniping runs, solid defensive work and his ability to sniff out the try line (scoring 71 tries for the Blue Bulls, and 6 for the Vodacom Super Rugby franchise). He was such an illustrious talent that he held the Springbok record for most tries scored until Bryan Habana broke it in 2011.

Van der Westhuizen made his debut for the Vodacom Blue Bulls in 1992 and went on to earn 144 Currie Cup caps and 26 Vodacom Super Rugby appearances. He captained the men from Pretoria on 38 occasions and lead the Northern Gauteng union to two Currie Cup victories in 1998 and 2002.

At Springbok level, he was involved in three World Cup campaigns including the 1995 edition where he put in a heart stopping tackle on All Black wing Jonah Lomu that prevented a certain try. He captained the Springboks in ten Tests and represented the Springbok Sevens team as well.

Blue Bulls Company CEO, Barend van Graan said: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of Joost van der Westhuizen, and our thoughts and condolences go out to his family, friends and the millions of fans that adored him. Joost will forever be remembered as the warrior that terrified opposition on the field, and one that took on MND head on while raising massive awareness for the cause.”

Although he suffered immense difficulties because of MND, he showed South Africa his fighting spirit through his foundation, the J9 Foundation, as he pioneered awareness of this dreaded disease.

Gert Wessel, President of the BBRU: “Joost was an individual with a ‘big heart’, both on and off the field. This showed in his approach to the game as he stood back and stepped aside for nothing in his playing career. His tenacious attitude clearly came through in his battle against MND as well”


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Feb 06, 2017

(5) Vodacom Bulls mourn the passing of Joost van der Westhuizen

  1. gravatar Bulperd says:
    RIP Joost jy het die standard op skrumskakel gestel en aanhou veg terwyl jy swaar gekry het. Ons sal jou baie mis. Ons dink aan jou familie wat agter bly. Nou kan jy rus sonder pyn
  2. RIP Joost. Our thoughts go to your family and friends. A true Rugby legend. Wish you had been Irish!! Eenvoudig die beste! Rust in vrede.
  3. gravatar Bloukaap says:
    Wat 'n hartseer dag is dit nie vir Blou Bul ondersteuners nie.

    Joost jy was 'n ware seunbvan Loftus Versfeld, Blou Bul in murg en been. Ek het jou al gevolg van jou Cravenweekdae af. Jy was 'n genie, soos Naas Botha. Ons sal jou ewig dankbaar wees vir jou lojaliteit en bydrae tot SA rugby. Nie alleen was jy een vd beste skrumskakels in wêreldrugby nue, maar een van die beste rugbyspelers in die wêreld.

    My meegevoel aan sy familie en vriende.

  4. gravatar Jacques says:
    Very sad news indeed. Rest in peace Joost. A Bulls legend and the best No. 9 in the history of Springbok rugby.
  5. gravatar Lourens says:
    A modern-day Gladiator!!!!

    You where the hero of many and there will never be a better example of what a Bok needs to give every game he plays. My thoughts are with your children and family in this difficult time. Rest in Peace ou grote!!

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