A true Springbok hero, a giant and a warrior - tributes pour in for Van der Westhuizen
Joost van der Westhuizen was branded a "true Springbok hero" as South Africa Rugby led the tributes to their former captain, who died aged 45 on Monday.
The former scrum-half was admitted to hospital at the weekend and lost his battle with motor neuron disease, which he was diagnosed with in 2011.
Van der Westhuizen was part of the iconic 1995 Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok side, and scored 38 Test tries in 89 appearances for his country.
Following the sad news of his death, social media was awash with tributes.
RIP Joost van der Westhuizen, 1971-2017. Condolences to the family and friends of a true Springbok hero. pic.twitter.com/ZZ7IBEBcyE-- South African Rugby (@Springboks) February 6, 2017
South Africa is poorer without Joost van der Westhiuzen, a giant & warrior of SA rugby. I send my sincere condolences to his family. pic.twitter.com/f8ko2SPWpI-- RSA Min of Sport (@MbalulaFikile) February 6, 2017
RIP Joost-- Ruan Combrinck (@R_Combrinck15) February 6, 2017
Was a pleasure sharing a dressing room with you,A warrior in every sense of the word,legend of the game,God Bless your fam,rus sag ou grote pic.twitter.com/ajM4MrVAf5-- Breyton Paulse (@BreytonPaulse) February 6, 2017
RIP Joost@9Joost-- Brad Barritt (@bradbarritt) February 6, 2017
What a man, kept fighting right to the end!
An inspiration to all rugby players from all countries!
Very sad to hear of the passing of one of our greats. #joostvanderwesthuizen you faught a great fight.-- Ernie Els (@TheBig_Easy) February 6, 2017