On Tuesday, former Springbok’s winger James Small died at the age of 50 due to a heart attack. Small died in Cape Town.
He was one of the key members of the South African National Rugby Team who lifted the 1995 Rugby World Cup trophy.
The athlete was praised for his performance in the World Cup final. His brave tackles on giant New Zealand athlete Jonah Lomu helped the Springboks to win the match at Ellis Park.
South Africa Rugby president Mark Alexander said, “James, as a member of the triumphant Rugby World Cup squad from 1995, will always have a special place in the hearts and minds of the South African public and we were devastated to hear of his passing.”
“He always played with the type of passion and courage that encapsulate what Springbok rugby stands for, and he lived his life in the same way. At 50 years old, James Small died too young. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends during this very sad time,” added Alexander.
Small is now the third member of the Springbok’s team to pass away after Ruben Kruger died of brain cancer in 2010 and Joost van der Westhuizen died after a long battle with motor neuron disease a couple of years ago.
On hearing the sad news, former South Africa cricketer Herschelle Gibbs tweeted, “Just heard the sad news about the ex-Springboks winger James Small who passed away today, really sad. RIP big man!” World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper tweeted, “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 the Springboks.”