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  1. ITV Report

South Africa rugby legend Van der Westhuizen dies aged 45

Joost van der Westhuizen has died, aged 45. Photo: PA

South Africa rugby legend Joost van der Westhuizen has died aged 45, it has been announced.

Van der Westhuizen, who has suffered from motor neuron disease for many years was rushed to hospital on Saturday.

The scrum-half as one of the all-time greats in rugby history, after winning 89 caps for the Springboks between 1993 and 2003, scoring 38 tries in the process, as well as helping his country win the 1995 World Cup on home soil.

Van der Westhuizen was a South African hero. Credit: PA

His charity, the J9 Foundation confirmed the news in a statement, which read: "It is with great sadness that we confirm the passing of Joost. He passed away in his home surrounded by his loved ones.

"He will be sorely missed."

A number of people, including former England scrum-half Matt Dawson, have sent their condolences following the announcement.

Van der Westhuizen became a rugby commentator after his playing career and was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame in 2007.

He became a member of the World Rugby Hall of Fame when the International Hall was merged with the IRB Hall of Fame in 2014.

By then, Van der Westhuizen had been confined to a wheelchair after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2011.