Wallabies, All Blacks Hail A Legend
Wallabies, All Blacks Hail A Legend: Australia and New Zealand Tuesday saluted “extraordinary” South African rugby legend Joost van der Westhuizen, hailing his skill and leadership as an inspiration. Rugby world lost another great person and player,” former Wallabies back David Campese tweeted. “Joost … will be remembered for the great fight he had to fight. RIP my friend.” ellow Wallaby Tim Horan added: “Loved playing against and with you Joost. The most competitive player I ever played against. You are an inspiration to all. #RIPJoost.” Australian Rugby Union chief Bill Pulver said in a statement he died too early. Former New Zealand scrum-half Justin Marshall said that at his peak, van der Westhuizen was the best player in the world.
Marshall said his great on-field rivalry with van der Westhuizen developed into a close friendship off the pitch and he admired the tenacity with which he battled the disease. All Black great Dan Carter also paid tribute. “He was one of the few non All Black players I adored. Such sad news!,” he tweeted, while New Zealand Rugby chief Steve Tew said he inspired many around the world. “We know they’ll be taking this news hard. He was an inspiration to a lot of people in South Africa and around the world both for his skill and leadership on the field and the courage with which he faced this illness.” Van der Westhuizen, who was at the time of his retirement in 2003 the most capped Springbok, playing 89 Tests, was instrumental in South Africa’s victory over New Zealand in the 1995 World Cup final in Johannesburg which made him a national sporting hero.