SA: Hannes Strydom, a 1995 Rugby World Cup hero, dies at 58 in a car crash

Hannes Strydom, a player on South Africa’s revered 1995 Rugby World Cup-winning team, has died in a car crash, the South African Rugby Union said Monday. He was 58.

Strydom was killed in the crash Sunday evening, the union said in a statement.

Strydom was a lock who played 21 tests and 10 other games for South Africa from 1993-97.

He is the fifth member of the 1995 Springboks to die relatively young. Flanker Ruben Kruger died of brain cancer in 2010 at 39, scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen died in 2017 at 45 after years battling motor neurone disease, and wings James Small and Chester Williams died within two months of each other in 2019, both from heart attacks. Small was 50 and Williams was 49.

In 1995, South Africa was playing in its first Rugby World Cup after a sports ban because of apartheid when it won on home soil.

“To lose yet another member of the iconic Bok squad from 1995 is a heavy blow to the rugby fraternity here in South Africa,” South African Rugby Union president Mark Alexander said.

The Springboks won a record fourth Rugby World Cup title last month to become the tournament’s most successful team.