Cape Town - Social media reacted with shock at the news that former Springbok James Small had passed away of a heart attack on Wednesday.
He was 50.
Small played 47 Tests for the Springboks between 1992-1997 and scored 20 tries.
He represented Lions (formerly Transvaal), Sharks and Western Province at provincial level.
He was most famously part of the Springbok team that won the 1995 Rugby World Cup on home soil.
Small is the third member of that Springbok team to have died - loose forward Ruben Kruger died from brain cancer in 2010 and scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen from motor neurone disease in 2017.
Absolutely shattered to hear of the passing of a great Springbok and a good friend. The first 2 words in my book "The Springboks and The Holy Grail" are James Small. Be at peace my mate— Dan Retief (@Retief_Dan) July 10, 2019
R.I.P LEGEND.WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER YOU AS ONE OF THE BEST. pic.twitter.com/9zjuvzVK3i— Bakkies Botha (@BakkiesBotha4) July 10, 2019
I'm shocked and v saddened to hear about James Small. Not the easiest oke to ref on the field but one of the kindest off it. Amazing self belief and always keen to challenge, its probably what made him special. A hero, a great Bok, a friend.. RIP Bro. You made the most of life!— Jonathan Kaplan (@RefJK) July 10, 2019
Sad news just in:— Alex Jay (@AlexJayZA) July 10, 2019
James Small, winger of the 1995 World Cup-winning Springboks, has died of an apparent heart attack.
James was 50 years old.
Condolences to the family and all his friends & fans.#RIPJamesSmall#WorkZone @jacarandafm pic.twitter.com/OXLsZjRwmP
RIP James Small, 50, the sometimes troubled Springbok who tenaciously marked Jonah Lomu in the 1995 World Cup final. He is the third of that famous Bok XV at Ellis Park to leave us, after Joost vd Westhuizen and Ruben Kruger.— Rob Houwing (@RobHouwing) July 10, 2019
Former Springbok wing James Small has passed away at the age of 50. Small played 47 Tests for the Springboks and was part of the team that won the 1995 Rugby World Cup on home soil. Condolences to his family, friends and the rugby fraternity at large. He will be sorely missed. pic.twitter.com/NE0VE6xDFj— Xerox Golden Lions (@LionsRugbyCo) July 10, 2019
James Small. Maverick. Champion. Fighter. Legend. The game that's played in heaven just got a helluva wing man. Rest in peace, big guy.— Clinton van der Berg (@ClintonV) July 10, 2019
Just heard the sad news about the ex @Springboks winger James Small who passed away today?? really sad! Rip big man!— Herschelle Gibbs (@hershybru) July 10, 2019
RIP James Small. What a legend and good friend. Your smile will be missed. A sad day... #JamesSmall— Barney Simon (@BarneySimon) July 10, 2019
So sad,RIP CHAMP! https://t.co/UVLK0ozkhq— Breyton Paulse (@BreytonPaulse) July 10, 2019
God speed Bushy, devastating day in our lives??We lost a friend, a brother??— Kobus Wiese (@4KobusWiese) July 10, 2019
Such sad news about James Small. Rus in vrede ou grote.— Ryk Neethling (@RykNeethling) July 10, 2019
Shock sports news just now from South Africa; Springbok rugby great James Small has died, aged 50. Collapsed this afternoon....— Keith Quinn (@KeithQuinn88) July 10, 2019
Team SA convey heartfelt condolences to the Small family & friends & the rugby family as a whole on the death of our rugby legend and former Springbok Player James Small. What a huge loss. May his soul rest in peace!— TeamSouthAfrica (@TeamSA18) July 10, 2019
Bushbuck. Just way too soon bud. So few got you .... the world would be a better place if everyone had your heart and compassion. It was and always will be a privilege to be your friend. Will keep your memory alive buddy. RIP ???? pic.twitter.com/aDwEKGtsC4— JustPlainDarren (@JustPlainTwit) July 10, 2019
Very sad to hear the news of former Springbok James Small - the man who , among other achievements,marked Jonah Lomu during South Africa’s victorious and iconic 1995 Rugby World Cup Final. Our deepest sympathies go out to the family, friends and @Springboks— Brett Gosper (@brettgosper) July 10, 2019
RIP James and thanks for the memories. pic.twitter.com/8fzbsbaAxU— DHL STORMERS (@THESTORMERS) July 10, 2019
The @CellC Sharks join the rest of the South African rugby fraternity in mourning the sudden loss of Springboks stalwart, James Small.— The Sharks (@TheSharksZA) July 10, 2019
Our sincere condolences are extended to his children and the entire Small family on their sad loss.
Rest in peace James. pic.twitter.com/VH7eOR6wgG