Francois Pienaar describes Joost as ‘extraordinary’

06 February 2017 - 17:40 By Craig Ray‚ Cape Town

Francois Pienaar‚ the 1995 World Cup-winning captain has described Joost van der Westerhuizen as ‘extraordinary’ after the former Bok scrumhalf died on Monday.

Van der Westhuizen was part of the team that won the World Cup on home soil 22 years ago.

Van der Westhuizen passed away after a long and courageous struggle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)‚ a form of motor neuron disease (MND)‚ for the past six years.

He was 45 and leaves behind two children‚ Jordan (13) and Kylie (10)‚ as well as his father Gustav‚ mother Mariana‚ and brothers Pieter and Gustav.

“It’s time for reflection‚” Pienaar said in a text message to Times Media.

“Joost was extraordinary on the field and fought until the end. We will miss him deeply.”

The J9 Foundation‚ established by Van der Westhuizen in the wake of his diagnosis‚ confirmed the news on Monday afternoon.

“It is with great sadness that we confirm the passing of Joost‚” the organisation said in a statement. “He passed away in his home surrounded by his loved ones. He will be sorely missed.”

- TMG Digital/TMG Sport