Joost van der Westhuizen

2003-10-03 15:51

Since winning his first cap as a 22-year-old, Joost van der Westhuizen has been a regular fixture in the Springbok squad, breaking record after record to be widely regarded as one of the finest scrumhalves of all time.

Born in Pretoria on the February 20, 1971 and educated at FH Odendaal High School and Pretoria University, he played Coca Cola Craven Week and represented the Junior Springboks.

He made his Test debut for the Springboks against Argentina in Buenos Aires in November 1993 and played a key role in their 1995 Rugby World Cup triumph. He bravely led from the front as captain as the Springboks finished third at RWC 99.

After years of loyal service to SA rugby, the veteran scrumhalf almost took up a lucrative contract with Welsh side Newport, for whom former Bok captain Gary Teichmann used to play. However, the lure of Springbok rugby made him change his mind and despite three knee operations the scrumhalf is still competitive at Vodacom Super 12 level in 2003.

Joost, who has been named as one of South Africa's five players of the year in six of the last seven years, career highlights include that memorable 1995 Rugby World Cup Final, leading the Blue Bulls to the 1998 Bankfin Currie Cup title and winning the Winfield Tri-Nations in 1998.

Arguably his finest moments on the field have been his brilliant solo try against England at Twickenham in 1995, his three tries against Scotland in Edinburgh in 1994 and his magnificent performance against Natal in the 1998 Bankfin Currie Cup semifinal.

He also captained the Sevens squad to the World Cup in Argentina after representing the side in 1993 and 1997. In the latter tournament, he also captained the side to the final where they were narrowly defeated by Fiji 24-21.

Standing 1.88m tall and weighing in at 89kg, Joost is elusive in attack and devastating in defence and has more than earned the right to be called one of the greatest scrumhalves of all time.

Representative Honours: Junior Springboks, Coca Cola Craven Week, SA Sevens at RWC Sevens in 93 & 97 (Captain 97), South Africa 93-2000, RWC 95 & 99, Blue Bulls squad 2002, Bulls Vodacom Super 12 captain 2002 and 2003.

Personal Details

  • First Name: Joost
  • Middle Name: Heystek
  • Surname: van der Westhuizen
  • Height: 188cm
  • Weight: 92kg
  • Birth Date: 1971/02/20
  • Birth City: Pretoria
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Favourite Film: Grand Canyon
  • Favourite Music: Unbreakable - Westlife
  • Favourite Food: Lamb chops & chips
  • Secondary School: FH Odendaal
  • Tertiary Education: Pretoria University

    Springbok Career

  • Debut: Argentina 1993
  • Caps: 85
  • Tries: 35
  • Conversions: 0
  • Penalties: 0
  • Drop Goals: 0
  • Test Points: 175