Curse of the Springboks strikes again as FIFTH member of World Cup winning team dies in freak accident

Hannes Strydom

Hannes Strydom (right) has died at the age of 58

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 21/11/2023

- 08:41

Updated: 21/11/2023

- 08:41

World-Cup winning South African star Hannes Strydom has died in a car crash aged 58.

Styrdom was part of the Springboks side that won the World Cup after beating New Zealand all the way back in 1995.

The victory came just a year after the end of apartheid and was immortalised in the 2009 film Invictus.

Strydom was a second-row and has been described as 'one of the great locks of his generation' following his death.

Hannes Strydom

Hannes Strydom starred as South Africa won the Rugby World Cup back in 1995


He is the fifth member of the side to die.

Ruben Kruger died of brain cancer in 2010, with Joost van der Westhuizen dying aged 45 two years later after suffering with motor neurone disease.

James Small died of a heart attack at the age of 50 in 2019, with Chester Williams dying that same year.

Williams was the only black player in the South Africa squad when they beat New Zealand 15-12 at Ellis Park 29 years ago.

Strydom won 21 Test caps between 1993 and 1997 and also faced the British and Irish Lions during his playing days.

South African Rugby Union president Mark Alexander said in a statement: "Hannes was one of the great locks of his generation and as a member of the Springbok squad from 1995, one of the heroes of our local game.

"To lose yet another member of the iconic Bok squad from 1995 is a heavy blow to the rugby fraternity here in South Africa and our thoughts and condolences are with his wife, Nikolie, their children, Annalie, Hannes and Lucy, family and friends in this very difficult time."

The Golden Lions, Strydom's old Rugby Union side, also paid tribute.

Lions chief executive Rudolf Straeuli, who was team-mates with the 58-year-old, said: "We are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Hannes.

"We share a tight bond as members of the 1995 group and to lose yet another one of our brothers is a big blow."

South Africa have won the Rugby World Cup three more times since their triumph in '95.

They beat England in the final in 2007, as well as in 2019.


Hannes Strydom

Hannes Strydom won 21 Test caps during his time in Rugby Union


And they were able to overcome New Zealand in the final this year, winning 12-11.

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