South African Rugby mourned the loss of former Springbok lock Hannes Strydom, who died in a car accident on Monday. Strydom, 58, was a pharmacist by trade and played 21 tests between 1993 and 1997. He started the historic 1995 World Cup final where the home side defeated New Zealand 15-12 to win the title in front of Nelson Mandela at Ellis Park. It was the first time the two sides had played at Newlands since 1980, and the Lions won the match 25-16.
“He was a hard-working lock who never shied away from getting stuck in and doing the dirty work,” SA Rugby president Mark Alexander said in a statement. “To lose yet another member of the iconic Bok squad from 1995 is a heavy blow to the rugby fraternity here in South Africa.”
Strydom’s death follows that of his coach Kitch Christie, who passed away from cancer in 1998, as well as flanker Ruben Kruger in 2010. Scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen succumbed to motor neurone disease in 2017, and wings Chester Williams and James Small suffered fatal heart-attacks within two months of each other in 2019.