"A hero" is gone! While South African rugby fans are still enjoying the 4th world championship title of their players, won a few weeks ago against New Zealand in France, it is an entire country that is hit by a new drama.
Hannes Strydom, a starter in the South African XV that won the 1995 World Cup on home soil, died on Sunday in a road accident, the president of the South African Rugby Union, Mark Alexander, announced on Monday.
"Hannes was one of the great second-rowers of his generation, and, as a member of the 1995 Springbok team, one of our heroes," he said.
Mr Mark Alexander has paid tribute to Hannes Strydom, the fifth member of the #Springboks squad that won the Rugby World Cup in 1995 who has passed away - more here: https://t.co/HM16gOLaPA 🇿🇦 pic.twitter.com/LfWUjU9W1b
— Springboks (@Springboks) November 20, 2023
Curse at the 1995 World Champions
The car of the man who had become a pharmacist after his fully accomplished playing career in South Africa, mainly for the Transvaal Province, collided with a minibus near the mining town of Emalalheni, about 140 km northwest of Johannesburg.
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"He was a man who never hesitated to go to the coals," Alexander said of Strydom, who won 21 caps for the Springboks from 1993 to 1997 and whose greatest achievement was the 1995 world title.
He is the fifth starter in the World Cup final - won on 24 June 1995 against New Zealand under the eyes of President Nelson Mandela - to disappear, after Ruben Kruger, Joost van der Westhuizen, Chester Williams and James Small.