Prayers from rugby union

2011-05-14 00:00

“THE news about Joost’s health is distressing in the extreme. The thoughts and prayers of Saru, the Springboks and the South African rugby community are with Joost and those nearest and dearest to him at this challenging time,” SA Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins said in a statement yesterday in reaction to the news that Joost van der Westhuizen has been diagnosed with the degenerative Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

“He was an outstanding Springbok and is a legend of our game — he will always have a place of honour in the history of Springbok rugby.”

Van der Westhuizen retired from rugby after playing in his third Rugby World Cup in 2003. He played 89 Tests for the Springboks, a record at the time. He captained the teams 10 times, including at the World Cup in 1999.

As scrumhalf, he scored 38 tries in Tests, including three hat-tricks, and still shares the Springbok record with Bryan Habana.

Former team-mates also expressed their good wishes and sympathy.

“We know he is a fighter and will get through it,” Chester Williams said of Van der Westhuizen.

“It gives me goosepimples to think about it. After everything that’s happened to him, that this has to happen as well. One wouldn’t wish it on anyone,” Williams added.


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